Emirates has signed a contract with UAE-based Falcon Aircraft Recycling to upcycle and recycle its first retired A380 aircraft.
The materials recovery and repurposing activities will be conducted in the UAE, the airline’s home base, further reducing the project’s environmental footprint.
Increasingly, retired aircraft are flown to remote locations and neglected after being stripped for parts. Traditional salvage and recycling projects focus on recovering only profitable components, leaving behind a substantial portion of the aircraft and materials that go into landfill or sit idle indefinitely.
Partnering with Wings Craft, another UAE-based firm that specialises in producing custom furniture and merchandise from aircraft materials, Falcon Aircraft Recycling will design and manufacture unique collectibles and retail items from the materials and parts removed from the aircraft. These items will be launched for sale in phases over the coming months.
The new partnership will lessen the environmental impact of the deconstruction process and drastically reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill.
Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said: “We are delighted to partner with Falcon Aircraft Recycling on this first-of-its-kind project. That all repurposing activity will be fully executed in the UAE also speaks to the strong aviation eco-system and capabilities that the nation has built up in its short history.
“Through this initiative, our customers and fans can take home a piece of aviation history while saving valuable materials from landfill and contributing to a charitable cause through the Emirates Airline Foundation. It’s an elegant and fitting retirement solution for this iconic aircraft and our flagship.”
Andrew Tonks, director of Falcon Aircraft Recycling, added: “This is our most ambitious project to date, which will see the first deconstruction of an A380 outside of Europe. Approximately 190 tons of various metals, plastics, carbon fibre composites and other materials will be removed from the aircraft and passed on for recycling or repurposing via our upcycling programme with Wings Craft.”
See the December issue of AIR International (on sale from November 25) for 'The circle of life', an in-depth look at the aircraft disassembly industry.