Dismantling old aircraft the green way

Photo credit: Wikipedia
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Montreal – Air Transat, in collaboration with Aerocycle, an aircraft dismantling and recycling specialist, has launched a program for the green dismantling of end-of-life-cycle aircraft.

A recent project conducted by the partners saw two Airbus A310s dismantled in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner, with 87 percent of their components recovered.

The two Air Transat aircraft were dismantled at Montréal–Mirabel International Airport in July 2013 in compliance with an international standard established by the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and using an environmental management system introduced by Aéroports de Montréal, with coordination provided by sustainable-development consulting firm Eko-Conseil.

“We have been stepping up our efforts in environmental management since 2007, and today stand proudly as a leader in responsible disposal of end-of-life-cycle aircraft,” said Air Transat General Manager Jean-François Lemay. ”To qualify as sustainable, dismantling must enable the recycling of at least 85 percent of the plane.”

While there are currently no North American environmental standards for aircraft dismantling, the project initiated by Air Transat and Aerocycle succeeded in recovering some 83 tonnes of aluminum from the two aircraft, with all recycled materials processed locally.

In choosing to dismantle locally, Air Transat ensured better control of environmental impacts and mitigated the hazardous materials management risk. With this project, the company is also helping create expertise in green recycling in Quebec, while supporting the local recycling economy.

“Over the next 20 years, about 12,000 commercial aircraft will need to be dismantled around the world,” noted Ron Haber, President and CEO, Aerocycle. “Quebec is already an aerospace hub, and our objective is to make Montreal a centre of excellence for aircraft dismantling and recycling.”

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