Experts predict a wave of aircraft recycling
Aircraft scrapping tsunami
Its forecast that the aviation industry is facing an aircraft recycling tsunami. Aircraft retirements are predicted to reach over one thousand per year within a decade.
The rapid flow of aircraft for scrapping is to do with a combination of demographics as aircraft reach the end or their serviceable life, low leasing interest rates, relatively high fuel prices and the introduction of many new fuel efficient and quieter aircraft.
Boeing Commercial Airlines suggest that some forty one percent of today’s fleet of aircraft will be leaving service within the next twenty years.
This provides companies with a significant opportunity to recycle these aircraft rather than parking them in plane graveyards in the dessert. The industry is now becoming more regulated. AFRA’s accreditation process is becoming the industry standard of choice, as it is a recognised guarantor of quality service and sustainable environmental best practices for dismantling aircraft.
AFRA has recently worked with the UK Environment Agency in helping them to reach a position regarding the treatment of retired aircraft and is fast becoming the preferred reference source on the best environmental practices for end of life aircraft disassembly.
Where do Old Aircraft End Up?
When a mighty Boeing 747 jumbo jets has reached the end of its natural life, its final destination may well be Cotswold Airport which is reported to be the biggest airplane graveyard in the UK. The first step in recycling this aircraft is to remove 130 tonnes of equipment, such as the landing gear, navigational and communications avionics. These alone can fetch six figure sums and reusing these items is far better for the environment than recycling.
The carcass of the aircraft has a scrap value of about £30,000. It is no longer pure enough to be used in building news planes but can be smelted down to make such things as drink cans, biscuit tins, bike frames and alloy wheels for cars.
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