The ‘holy grail’ is in reach – at least for the aircraft recycling sector, with companies predicting that 100 per cent of an airframe will be able to be reused or recycled within the next two years.
Aircraft recycling has come a long way from the days when airframes were simply crushed into bite sized chunks to be sent to the smelter. Today, the process is governed by extensive rules and regulations, and valuable parts can often be removed and sold on.
In our cover story we look at the sector in detail, and speak to a number of industry experts about why – despite recent Covid-related difficulties – the future for aircraft recycling is bright.
Elsewhere, we examine the latest trends impacting the commercial aftermarket – many of which have been accelerated by the Covid crisis. These trends include the shortage of skilled labour, the pressure on maintenance costs, an increased focus on freighter conversions, the growing regionalisation of MRO markets, and innovation through data.
Whereas Covid was an unknown, the current prevailing headwinds affecting the aftermarket are at least challenges the industry has seen many times before – although that does not necessarily lessen the difficulty in overcoming them, of course.
Also in focus this issue are Airbus’ giant A380 aircraft and GE Aviation’s GEnx engine. In the case of the former, the MRO market is forecasted to grow in value until the mid-2020s, at which point it will take a slow-motion tumble as retirements of the aircraft, which is no longer being produced, continue.
The GEnx, meanwhile, has already provided more than a decade of sterling service and is not going anywhere just yet. While it might be reaching its mature period, advanced repairs and upgrades are constantly being developed and introduced, meaning it looks set to be healthy for many years to come.
These features appear alongside our regular columns, which include an analysis of setting safety goals in ‘Legal matters’; new developments in the predictive maintenance alliance between Airbus, Delta TechOps and
GE Digital in ‘Taking better care’; and a look at how Vallair will train 300 aeronautical technicians within the next five years in ‘Industry voices’.
I hope you enjoy reading the issue.