Circularity is a hot social topic. It is becoming an increasingly important issue for Dutch industry, including the aviation sector. Within this context, the company Necamco has applied for a permit from the municipality of Tynaarlo for the circular dismantling of aircraft at Groningen Airport Eelde. Together with Omrin, OPNIEUW! and a number of strategic partners -including from the education sector- the parts and materials of the aircraft will be reused or recycled.

An aircraft is not waste at the end of its life: it represents enormous value through reuse of valuable parts, through recycling and sometimes even with creative applications. Examples include a mock-up for students of the Aviation Services course, a hotel in the fuselage of an aircraft, or floating housing units.

Necamco, centre of ‘operational’ excellence, works with highly skilled and experienced aircraft maintenance technicians. It will carry out the dismantling and dismantling process in an organised manner with its partners. Virtually all materials will be reused or recycled. The aim is to remove the valuable components from the aircraft. Depending on their technical condition, the removed components will be inspected, repaired or overhauled by an authorised repair workshop.

Ron van der Meulen, Necamco managing director:

“Aviation needs to become more sustainable, that is a fact. We must all contribute to the social interest of making the process not finite, but circular. To work on this together at Groningen Airport Eelde with partners feels very important and relevant to us.”

Omrin (Frisian for ‘cycle’) is originally a Frisian company, makes an important contribution to a clean and sustainable world in the Northern Netherlands. Together with its shareholder municipalities, it wants to actively contribute to lowering CO2 emissions, reducing waste and increasing the reuse of raw materials. Through Omrin and its circular network, aircraft parts that cannot be directly reused will be processed into reusable raw materials.

John Vernooij, Omrin director:

“I see in this collaboration to dismantle aircraft circularly an opportunity to once again contribute a more sustainable world.”

OPNIEUW! offers knowledge and expertise on circular strategies and design. It offers circular solutions for the working environment. The company gives furniture and waste materials a second life. A great example is that this company has given old train carriages a new future. OPNIEUW! works with people distanced from the labour market.

Groningen Airport Eelde is social infrastructure in the northern Netherlands. It contributes to making aviation more sustainable. Education is provided at Groningen Airport Eelde for 300 students, including KLM FA, Noorderpoort and Alfa-college. The deployment of students in dismantling aircraft contributes to the further development of the Airport Campus at the airport.

This iconic project will make the Northern Netherlands the place to be for the circular processing of end-of-life aircraft. The circular aspect is truly exceptional in the world. The relevance of sustainably reusing aircraft is underlined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). They state that there are more than 27,000 commercial aircraft in use worldwide. The average age of the airframe is about 13 years. It is estimated that 12,000 aircraft will be retired over the next two decades. So the task of dismantling and recycling aircraft will be huge in the coming years.

Facilitating circular dismantling at Groningen Airport Eelde creates a unique proposition and distinction for the region.