NAAI merges with AIRA for complete interiors recycling


North American Aerospace Industries (NAAI), an end-to-end aircraft recycling company based in North Carolina, USA, has merged with Aircraft Interior Recycling Association (AIRA), a UK-based aircraft interiors support company. The companies say that the merger will offer new opportunities for airlines, aircraft owners and OEMs to generate new revenue streams, gain savings, and reduce their carbon footprints.

According to Sven Daniel Koechler, president and CEO of NAAI, “AIRA is the only aircraft interior recycling company that has developed the scientific expertise and technical know-how to properly recycle end-of-life aircraft interiors and waste materials from manufacturing. Since our top priority is to provide sustainable aircraft recycling services through which 100% of an aircraft is recycled or up-cycled, gaining the ability to effectively address one of the most challenging aspects of an aircraft’s recycling – its composite plastic interior components – is a major achievement for us.

“We are very proud of our new alignment with AIRA. Together, we intend to revolutionise aircraft recycling, transforming it into an industry which delivers enormous benefit across the entire chain, from OEMs, MROs, airlines, and leasing companies to the general public and the environment,” added Koechler.

Through the merger, NAAI and AIRA intend to help customers gain the maximum return on their aircraft investment by recycling interior components often neglected due to the complexities involved in identifying composite materials. They believe customers will be able to capitalise on these materials by returning them to the supply chain for use in producing other products. As Koechler sees it, the revenue opportunities can be enormous, and these materials can be put to good use to help provide clothing, housing and even manufacturing job opportunities for those in need across the world.

AIRA’s managing director, Tony Seville, stated, “This is two companies coming together with a mutual vision and solutions to the major challenges of recycling aircraft correctly, with all of its many different materials and with the environment foremost in mind. It has taken AIRA six years of research and hard work to develop cost-effective recycling processes. We are very proud to be part of this merger with NAAI and now the real work can begin with airlines, lessors, MROs, OEMs and material manufacturers all working with us and making a huge difference to the aviation industry and the environment at the same time.”

In other NAAI news, the company is building one of the world’s largest hangar systems, in North Carolina. The three-part hangar system will house a 357,00 square foot dismantling shop; a 151,800 square foot MRO facility; and a 102,000 square foot paint shop for narrow and wide body aircraft. The facility will be used to recycle multiple aircraft simultaneously, for a faster recycling process.

The NAAI facilities will also include an 80,800 square foot space designated for storage and offices. The facility’s construction schedule was interrupted by the pandemic and subsequent business lockdowns in the USA, however, Koechler is projecting that the facility will be operational by late 2021.

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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