Aircraft Solutions USA has announced that it is moving forward with its plan to build an aircraft recycling facility at Global TransPark in Kinston, North Carolina. The beginning of construction has been delayed due to the Covid-19 situation, but the facility is still slated to be operational by the second quarter of 2021.
The facility will consist of what the company describes as “one of the world’s largest hangars”, which will include dismantling, MRO and painting operations.
“We are making some critical hires, including our interim CEO and our head of innovations, and are looking to start construction this summer,” said Sven Daniel Koechler, general manager of Aircraft Solutions USA.” The company will initially create 475 jobs and will invest nearly US$100 million dollars in the new aircraft recycling centre.
Once operational, Aircraft Solutions USA’s Kinston facility will recycle decommissioned commercial and military aircraft using a proprietary new recycling technology. According to the company, this process will enable it to recycle many more aircraft each year than conventional methods enable.
“With our proprietary recycling technology, we can recycle many more aircraft per year; for instance, up to 70 additional twin-engine narrow-body airliners” said Koechler.
Aircraft parts such as engines, landing gear, avionics, and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems can be refurbished and sold on the aircraft parts aftermarket. Aircraft Solutions USA’s ultimate goal is to use every part of the airplane and upcycle it to make a new product; for example, a new pair of sneakers made from aircraft seating material. The long-term objective is to expand the recycling operation by establishing various production facilities that will create new products for diverse industries from upcycled materials.
The Aircraft Solutions USA project will bring nearly US$958 million to North Carolina’s economy. It is being partially facilitated by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the State’s Economic Investment Committee. Wages will vary depending on job functions, but will exceed Lenoir County’s current average wage of US$36,766 and reach as high as US$47,069.
Aircraft Solutions USA also plans to invest heavily in community and philanthropic projects. It will train its own workforce based on successful German workforce development programmes and will offer generous benefits and housing to its employees. Rooted in a zero-waste philosophy, the company will be advising the Kinston municipality on how to optimise its recycling programmes.