Today, AFRA celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its creation, which took place at Châteauroux Airport - France in June 2006.
Already 10 years of work, progress, and international recognition!
In 2006, aircraft end-of-life management was not a real concern for airlines, aircraft owners, and other actors of the air transport industry. At that time, the sustainable development of air transport was mainly related to the reduction of noise, CO2 emissions, reduction of fuel consumption, etc...
Aircraft parting out and recycling was a limited industry and the majority of older aircraft were finishing their life-cycle, abandoned in the corner of many airports, all over the world, which generated pollution, and caused a lot of disorder. Very few MROs, recyclers, and airports were considering this business.
At the same time, economists of OEMs and those from Boeing in particular were assessing, in their middle-term forecasts, that a significant number of aircraft would be grounded and disassembled in the coming decades due to fleet renewal and search for efficiency.
Then the day came of an unpredictable meeting of men, really concerned by these issues and genuinely visionaries. They shared a common goal of seeking a specific approach of aircraft recycling and a shared vision of anticipating the real potential market of this activity. They decided to create AFRA to address these shared goals with a realistic approach, based on their personal experience, at a time when no regulations yet existed. The targets were multiple: security and quality of removed parts, maximization of recovered raw materials and destruction with no pollution.
These "first day" co-founders started working on the definition of Best Management Practices (BMPs), which have been progressively associated to an accreditation program and engagement of new members.
With that in mind, I would like to extend a special recognition to AFRA's founding companies and their leaders: Adherent Technologies, Air Salvage International Ltd., Bartin Recycling Group, Boeing, Châteauroux Air Center, Europe Aviation, Evergreen Air Center, Huron Valley Fritz West, Milled Carbon, Ltd., Rolls-Royce plc, Volvo Aero Services and WINGNet / Oxford University.
In addition, I would also like to make note of a few key founding individuals, all of which were directly and deeply involved, and who helped drive the formation and success of AFRA: Bill Carberry, Graham Carson, Mark Gregory, Gregoire Lebigot, and Denis Oliver. Not only were these companies and individuals responsible for the advent of the association, but also they were integral in developing the future vision for the Association.
Pictured: Jean-Paul Boutibou, ABJAD Group (far left), Graham Carson, Rolls-Royce plc (second on left), Mark Gregory, Air Salvage International Ltd. (third on left), Charles Kofyan, Bartin Aero Recycling (fourth on left), Paul Worthington, Evergreen Air Center (fifth on left), Hank Gibson, Vas Aero Services (fifth on right), Martin Fraissignes, Châteauroux Air Center (fourth on right), Peter Davidson, Milled Carbon (third on right), Bill Carberry, Boeing (second on right), and Gregoire Lebiogt, Vallair (far right).
June 1st - 2016 - Châteauroux
Pictured: Martin Fraissignes, Châteauroux Air Center
(back), Denis Oliver, ELG Metals, Inc. (front)
In just 10 years, AFRA has grown its presence to include membership in five of the seven continents, redefined the industry of aircraft end-of-life through the promotion of the BMP guidelines, and developed partnerships and MOUs with major organizations within the aerospace industry.
I am very pleased to see the significant progress which AFRA has made over these past years and I am confident in the future success of our organization, although there is still a lot of work to be done!
Thank you for being a part of AFRA and for your contribution to this human venture that will remain a page of the world air transport History!
Co-Founder & President Emeritus
CHATEAUROUX AIR CENTER