Eager to make concrete contributions to the aviation industry’s quest for sustainability, Airbus has inked a memorandum of understanding with the city of Chengdu and aircraft storage company Tarmac Aerosave for the development of the first sustainable aircraft “lifecycle” service centre in China.
This agreement covers everything from aircraft parking and storage, to maintenance, upgrades, conversions, dismantling and recycling services for various aircraft types. The new Chengdu facility will cover a surface area of 690,000 square metres and boast a storage capacity of 125 aircraft.
Runway Girl Network reached out to Airbus to learn more about the plans for recycling aircraft interiors at the Chengdu centre. “According to the projections by Airbus and the operational experience of Tarmac, about 75% of the aircraft stored fly again and around 25% are dismantled,” explains an Airbus spokesman.
The serviceable parts of the aircraft will fly again on other aircraft, depending on parts’ supply and demand. Aircraft interior parts can be reused by the same airline and there is also a growing market for aircraft cabin upgrades using refurbished used parts.
Notably, in the operational experience of Tarmac, a reuse and recycle quota of around 90% of the aircraft weight is achievable, he adds.
Tarmac brings 15 years of expertise in eco-efficient aircraft dismantling to the project. Located in the same centre, Airbus subsidiary Satair will acquire ageing aircraft, and will trade and distribute the resulting used parts to complete the full scope of lifecycle services.
The centre will support the expansion of Airbus’ aviation services while enabling the implementation of China’s ‘Green Industry’ strategy.
“Aircraft phase-out in China is forecast to grow exponentially over the next 20 years. Airbus is committed to investing in the region and this one-stop-shop — a first in China and outside of Europe — will see Airbus well positioned on the Chinese aircraft ‘second life’ services market,” says Airbus Customer Services senior vice president Klaus Roewe in a statement.
A formal agreement to establish and frame this industrial cooperation is planned to be signed between the partners in mid-2022, with an entry into service of the new centre slated for the end of 2023, subject to relevant regulatory approvals.
Meanwhile, Airbus continues to explore novel ways to recycle aircraft interiors to support the principle of a circular economy. “The recycling of aircraft composite parts, including cabin parts, is the subject of Research & Development programs, including by the European Union. Airbus participates in such programs,” notes the Airbus spokesman.
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Featured image credited to Airbus