AFRA, ICAO break new grounds on aircraft recycling, lifecycle management

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By ISAAC TERSOO AGBER

THE International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) have announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at reinforcing cooperation on dismantling and recycling end-of-life aircraft.

Encouraging the development and international alignment of best practices for the management of aircraft end-of-life processing, including the optimization of the safe re-use and recycling of materials, will support ICAO and AFRA’s shared objective of facilitating the dismantlement of retired aircraft in ways that are environmentally sustainable, safe, and responsible.

“The timing of this MoU is important given that the rate of fleet renewal is expected to increase significantly over the coming years, with 18,000 currently in-service aircraft expected to be retired from operations by 2030,” noted Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of ICAO Council. “Already, 400 to 600 aircraft are disassembled each year, pointing to how increased focus on the entire aircraft lifecycle will provide an important contribution to the sustainability of aircraft manufacture and our sector overall.”

Derk-Jan van Heerden, President of the Board of AFRA, further noted that: “Improving how the aviation industry recycles end-of-life aircraft at the global level requires strong partnerships between all stakeholders. AFRA represents stakeholders such as dismantling and recycling companies, OEMs, airlines and lessors. ICAO is the international organization building consensus among all countries. This MoU is therefore an important step in reaching the mutual goal of a safer and environmentally sustainable aviation industry.”

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The ICAO-AFRA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during this week’s AFRA Annual Conference held in Las Vegas, United States. It bolsters ICAO’s strategic environmental protection objectives and the UN agency’s wider efforts to ensure that civil aviation’s important contributions to 13 of the 17 United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are suitably appreciated.

This ICAO-AFRA MoU directly supports SDG 12, which aims to ensure the sustainability of consumption and production patterns,” remarked Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General of ICAO.

“Sustainable consumption and production means not just reducing resource use, but also reducing waste throughout the entirety of an aircraft’s lifecycle. This requires close collaboration among stakeholders throughout the value chain, and helps to highlight how ICAO is well-placed to foster the needed cooperation and to address aviation’s environmental impacts.”

“AFRA welcomes the opportunity to share its members’ experience and knowledge on aircraft recycling and dismantling to contribute to a sustainable aviation sector,” concluded Reed Hitchcock, AFRA Executive Director, noting that the improvement of aviation’s sustainability was in the interest of all stakeholders involved in the sector.

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