Mary Armstrong, Boeing vice president for Environment, Health and Safety, addressing today the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association's (AFRA's) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., commended the association for the way it enhances Boeing's ability to deliver innovative environmental solutions throughout the life cycle of its products, particularly in terms of end of service options. This explains, she said, why the company values its relationship with AFRA so highly.
In her keynote address, Armstrong emphasized the aerospace industry's commitment to enhancing its environmental performance. This includes developing fuel-efficient new aircraft like the 787 and 747-8, facilitating the development of sustainable biofuels with the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions from air travel, and developing innovative environmental solutions to recycle aerospace products at the end of service.
"The aerospace industry is now viewed as part of the solution," Armstrong said, noting that aviation was the first industry to present an emissions-reduction plan to the United Nations annual climate change negotiations. "With leadership comes the responsibility to step up to the next level."
The Boeing vice president stated that delivering improved environmental stewardship to airplanes as they reach the end of service is increasingly important to Boeing: more than 13,000 airplanes are expected to be removed from service in the next 20 years as newer generations of more efficient and environmental proficient airplanes replace older ones. In this market scenario, Boeing's relationship with AFRA becomes even more crucial.
Armstrong encouraged AFRA members to work closely with airplane manufactures to develop new aerospace applications for parts and materials recycled from airplanes at the end of their service lives.
Noting that Boeing is studying ways to recycle a wide variety of materials, from aircraft carpeting to carbon fibers used to create the next generation of commercial jetliners, Armstrong told AFRA members, "We want to work with you. We want to develop markets for recycled products together to help the aerospace industry continue to grow, continue to innovate and continue to be an environmental leader."
Established in 2006, AFRA is a not-for-profit industry association with 55 members whose businesses focus on environmentally responsible management of aircraft as they reach the end of their life cycles. AFRA members have many years of combined aircraft recycling experience:
30% of the world's fleet that was recycled in 2009 was done at AFRA member facilities
AFRA members recycled 217,000 tons of Aluminum, 3,700 tons of high-strength alloys, and 600 tons of used aircraft parts were returned safely to service
AFRA has developed Best Management Practices for dismantling aircraft in an efficient and environmentally-sound manner. And we are focused on continuous improvement and expansion of the scope of the BMP to seek ever greater efficiencies.
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