Around 6,000 civil aircraft are expected to reach end-of-life in the next 20 years (at a rate of approximately 300 per year). Tarmac Aerosave - a joint venture between Airbus, waste management company SITA France, and maintenance and parts specialists TASC Aviation (an Airbus company), Snecma Services, Equip' AÃ©ro and AÃ©roconseil - will be the first industrial company to manage end-of-life aircraft. The facility will be capable of storing up to 22 aircraft, offering customers short-term storage, maintenance and dismantling services.
Tarmac Aerosave, which stands for Tarbes Advanced Recycling and Maintenance Aircraft Company, is set to begin operations in the second half of 2008. It will offer its services to all aircraft owners, both civil and military. Services on offer will enable customers to dispose of end-of-life aircraft in an optimal and environmentally friendly way. The company will be able to recover equipment and parts, which still have potential use, respecting aviation safety and environmental rules, while ensuring the traceability of all spare parts.
From the start of its operation, it will benefit from the best dismantling and recycling practices thanks to the lessons learnt from the LIFE -PAMELA (Process for Advanced Management of End-of-Life Aircraft) experimental project led by Airbus and SITA. This knowledge also means the recyclability rates of materials sorted in end-of-life aircraft can be optimised, while working in a secure and environmentally-friendly way.
Airbus plans to set up a worldwide network of dismantling centres to provide and encourage the best environmental practices and safe operation of its aircraft across their lifespan. Tarmac Aerosave, which will become the centre of reference for Airbus, is also set to take part in research into ageing aircraft with Airbus' engineering team and local university research centres.
Read more about the PAMELA recycling project