The European Commission has selected the Airbus-led aircraft recycling project PAMELA (Process for Advanced Management of End-of-Life of Aircraft) as one of its L'Instrument Financier pour l'Environment (LIFE) projects.
Airbus, together with partners SITA, EADS CCR, Sogerma Services and the Hautes-Pyrenees regional authority will now set up a special centre at Tarbes airport in south-west France where it will test procedures for decommissioning and recycling aircraft in safe and environmentally responsible conditions.
Airbus expects more than 4,000 airliners (about 200 aircraft a year) will reach their end of life between 2004 and 2023.
The idea behind the $2.8 million PAMELA project is to make sure that decommissioned aircraft do not end up rusting away on the side of airfields. The project wants to demonstrate that 85-95% of an aircraft's components can be easily recycled, reused or recovered.
PAMELA will cover the whole process from storage at the decommissioning phase, to dismantling and recycling or elimination of the materials.