Aircraft Recyclers Join Forces

Following the rejigged purchase of AerSale by Monocle, corporate maneuvering in the aftermarket has continued with the merger of North Carolina-based North American Aerospace Industries (NAAI) and British company Aircraft Interior Recycling Association (AIRA).

NAAI favored the British recycler because of its ability to process plastic and composite interior parts.

“AIRA is the only aircraft interior recycling company that has developed the scientific expertise and technical know-how to properly recycle end of life aircraft interiors and waste materials from manufacturing,” noted NAAI president Sven Koechler.

AIRA has spent six years developing a cost-effective way to recycle interior products, which can then be returned to the supply chain.

“This is two companies coming together with a mutual vision and solutions to the major challenges of recycling aircraft correctly, with all of its many different materials and with the environment foremost in mind,” said AIRA managing director Tony Seville.  

NAAI hopes to have its aircraft processing facilities operational by the fourth quarter of 2021. Speaking to Aviation Week earlier this year, Koechler said that it would handle 70 aircraft per year and accommodate three aircraft simultaneously.

“It will be like the assembly—but in reverse, so we can be more efficient and faster. A narrowbody should take a maximum of 12 days and an Airbus A380 would take 32 days,” he said.

The three-part hangar system will house a 357,00 ft.2 dismantling shop; 151,800 ft.2 MRO facility; and 102,000 ft.2 paint shop for narrow- and widebody aircraft.

Koechler also stressed that NAAI was not planning to become an aircraft boneyard; rather, it intends to recycle or upcycle almost all the materials from every aircraft received—a goal it is now closer to achieving.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.