United Arab Emirates – Up to 30 aircraft have been abandoned at Fujairah International Airport (FJR) in the United Arab Emirates in recent years after their owners went bankrupt or the planes failed safety inspections. But dismantling and recycling has now begun on a serious scale after the airport contracted a new UK operator, Falcon Aircraft Recycling, to carry out the work.
The operation, the first of its kind in the region, will not only ensure that fuselages, engines and smaller fixtures such as seat-belt buckles are recycled, but also enables the extraction of precious metals, including gold and palladium.
The ultimate aim is for Fujairah to become an international centre for aircraft recycling. Dr Khaled Al Mazroui, General Manager at FJR, said the Emirate was keen to set an example as ‘this is one of the sectors of the market that is underserved in the region’.
Falcon’s Managing Director, Ian French, claimed: ‘Fujairah provides the perfect location.’ It was by chance that the airport was looking for a recycler ‘to meet its strategic plan’ at exactly the moment the company was investigating a suitable start-up location, he added.
Mr French believes the collaboration will allow a higher proportion of recyclable material to be recovered from aircraft than is currently achieved. He reasons this is increasingly important as some narrowbody planes are commonly designed with a lifespan of no more than 10 years, rendering even such expensive products ‘consumable’.
Charles Hajdu, FJR’s Business Development Manager, said that following their abandonment aircraft ‘eventually become the property of the airport’, but this first involved a court process to determine who was the rightful owner. So far, the airport has been granted legal ownership of four passenger jets.
For more information, visit: www.falconrecycling.co.uk