Airbus Launches Inaugural Global Aircraft Recycling Project in China: The Airbus Lifecycle Services Centre (ALSC)

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The Airbus Lifecycle Services Centre

The Airbus Lifecycle Services Centre, with investment of 6 billion yuan ($838 million), aims to improve the recycling rate of aircraft components and materials, so that over 90% of an aircraft by weight can be recycled, Xinhua reported.

The Airbus Lifecycle Services Centre (ALSC) has started its operations in Chengdu (China), offering solutions to manage the entire lifecycle of an aircraft. This centre is the first of its kind to cover, as a one-stop shop, the full range of activities from aircraft parking and storage to maintenance, upgrades, conversions, dismantling and recycling services for various aircraft types, as well as the controlled distribution of used parts from dismantling.

The Airbus Lifecycle Services Centre in Chengdu is certified by both the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). 

The Airbus Lifecycle Services Centre covers a surface area of 717,000 square metres and has a storage capacity of 125 aircraft. The site will progressively ramp up operations between now and 2025, directly employing up to 150 employees. The main buildings have obtained the LEED(1) (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for their construction, which is a first step to reduce the environmental impacts of operations at the ALSC site.

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“I’m glad to see the Airbus Lifecycle Services Centre enter into service in Chengdu,” said Cristina Aguilar, Airbus SVP Customer Services. “It echoes our purpose to pioneer sustainable aerospace and shows our approach to environmental responsibility across the entire aircraft lifecycle. Our service centre is a great example of Chinese-European cooperation in the development of the circular economy for the aviation industry.”

The Airbus Lifecycle Services Centre unites under one roof a joint venture between Airbus, Tarmac Aerosave and the city of Chengdu, along with the Airbus company Satair. Tarmac Aerosave brings its more than 15 years of proven expertise in efficient aircraft storage, dismantling and recycling to the project. Located in the same centre, Airbus company Satair will acquire ageing aircraft and trade and distribute the used parts to complete the full scope of lifecycle services. 75 percent of the aircraft stored in the centre are expected to fly again after storage and upgrade by the joint venture. The remaining aircraft will be dismantled with the unique Tarmac Aerosave process, recovering around 90 percent of the aircraft weight.

Note #1: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building certification program used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of “green buildings”, homes and neighbourhoods. The LEED certification program aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.


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