I had driven past the air centre at Chateauroux in central France several times on holiday before I realised the main purpose of this remote but seemingly busy airport. The vintage of the often oddly-liveried 747s and other aircraft parked around the terminal ought to have given me a clue.
Chateauroux airport does offer freight and charter services, but its main role is a final resting place for elderly aircraft. A scrapyard, or more precisely a recycling centre.
Aircraft recycling is becoming big business as our cover story in this week's issue (11 January) explains. The front cover pictures the upright nose of a DC-10. Environmental pressures and high fuel costs mean increasing numbers of older generation airliners are being retired rather than kept in service. Those same pressures are pushing the industry to come up with more innovative ways of reusing bits of aircraft and sending less material to landfill.
Kerry Reals' piece - which has some great pictures of aircraft being torn apart - looks at the latest techniques in dismantling and recycling and the various political drivers behind them.
Our Environment special also examines progress on the European Union's Clean Sky initiative and how worries about hazards to air navigation are putting the blocks on some green initiatives by and around airports.
If Chinese fighters are your thing, read what we think about the J-20, Beijing's supposed fifth-generation warplane, grainy pictures of which have emerged over the past few weeks.
We also have early details of last year's safety performance by the industry. David Learmount will be unveiling the full picture in our 18 January issue.
And there is news on how Korean Air plans to configure its A380s.