Group mulls global mechanism to recycle aircraft material

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A project aimed at finding a way of recycling materials from scrapped aircraft on a worldwide scale is being considered by members of the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA).

Abandoned aircraft are often left to deteriorate in certain parts of the world due to a shortage of aircraft recycling facilities.

AFRA executive director Martin Fraissignes, general manager of the Chateauroux Air Centre in France which dismantles and recycles scrapped airliners, says that these aircraft are "feeding parts to the black market and polluting".

To address this problem, AFRA is "working on a project to launch on a worldwide basis", details of which are not ready to be disclosed, says Fraissignes.

At this early stage the project is "just an idea", but Fraissignes is hopeful that if enough political support can be generated, as well as support from organisations such as IATA, an initiative could be launched "in the next two years".

AFRA said earlier this year that its goal was for 90% of materials salvaged from scrapped aircraft to be recycled by 2016. On average, about 70% of an aircraft can be recycled, with materials used in the interiors presenting the biggest challenge towards meeting this target.

AFRA, which was launched in 2006 and has 47 members, also hopes to reduce the amount of aircraft manufacturing waste destined for landfill by 25% by 2012.