Jeanne Yu, Boeing Commercial Airplane’s Director for Airplane Environmental Performance, believes AFRA is a key catalyst in reaching ambitious industry targets of 90 per cent recyclability of the end-of-service world fleet by 2016, she stated at the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association’s (AFRA) Annual Meeting.
AFRA and its key member Boeing also aim to reduce the amount of aircraft manufacturing waste which goes into landfills by 25 per cent by 2012.
Ms Yu emphasized that ‘AFRA is the only global organisation committed to the environmentally responsible management of airplanes as they reach the end of their service life, and AFRA is relentlessly pursuing continual life cycle improvement opportunities’.
The Boeing Director believes that partnerships such as AFRA ‘create innovative models which accelerate technology development and allow the industry to set challenging recycling goals to enhance environmental performance.’ AFRA's companies focus on all aspects of dismantling and recycling in all phases of an aircraft’s end of service life.
‘Using technology demonstrator projects is another way AFRA global partnerships can be utilized’, said Yu, ‘as has been seen with carbon fiber recycling demonstrators, which have increased focus and accelerated the emergence of technology solutions.’ There is a need to improve the quality of recycled composite materials, find new applications and new markets both inside and outside the aviation sector.
Using recycled carbon fiber instead of Virgin fiber reduces C02 emissions by 90-95 per cent. Recycling also makes good business sense, as the needs of the market are satisfied at lower costs.
Yu also sees AFRA as hastening the move towards closed loop environmental models, where airplane materials are recycled for use back into the supply chain. One challenge facing the industry is the recycling versus disposal of aircraft interior materials, which is another AFRA priority.
The growth in the number of retired aircraft provides opportunities and challenges to AFRA. More than 12,000 aircraft are expected to reach the end of their service life in the next 20 years. A challenge for AFRA is to enable asset owners to extract greatest value from aircraft, making recycling a more attractive option.
It was also noted that since 2000, 90 per cent of scrapped aircraft came from the parked fleet. By increasing the residual value of parked aircraft through developing technologies that allow more higher-valued materials to be recovered from aircraft, as well as by raising level of higher-valued materials which return to aircraft production, AFRA members will give aircraft asset owners more interesting recycling options.
AFRA's series of Best Management Practice Guides, which have become the industry standard for aircraft dismantling and recycling, is also appreciated by its founder member; as is the accreditation process, which provides the industry with processes, procedures and tools to maximize environmental efficiency in aircraft disassembly.
AFRA is the first and only not-for-profit association whose members’ business centres on the aging commercial aircraft industry. AFRA’s efforts encourage greater collaboration between organisations and companies focused in this market sector.
AFRA currently has 46 members and has grown by more than threefold since being established in 2006. The members of AFRA have many years of combined aircraft recycling experience, recycling around 150 commercial aircraft a year, representing a third of aircraft scrapped around the world.
For More Information Contact:
AFRA Media Relations
+ 32 479 680 176