Just when the cargo sector was going out of business, Covid19 caused a severe shortage of supplies all over the world. As a result, the Boeing 747 freighter left the Lleida-Alguaire airport earlier in April, with a consignment of emergency medical resources.
As more and more aircraft become inoperative, these airports struggle to create space for them all. Aircraft can’t be kept at the airlines because space at large airports comes at a very high price.
As airlines scrambled to hoard hundreds of aircraft, the industrial airports came to save the day- Europe’s largest one being Lleida-Alguaire. Some aircraft manage to make it out alive of the industrial airports, while others stay in pieces.
However, since the pandemic, the airport has not been able to take regular commercial fights like it had been doing before the outbreak. Nonetheless, this has allowed the airport to discover a niche in the aeronautical industry.
Just because an airplane is stored does not mean it is forgotten about, especially if it is to recommence flying soon. So although aircraft maintenance is a laborious task, there is no way around it.
To ensure that all systems of the plane remain functional, the engine must be protected at all costs, especially from the humidity.
Despite many aircraft still being fit to fly, their maintenance no longer remains worth the expenditure. Often, just the spare parts hold more value than the entire aircraft.
The complete scrapping process is a specially designed process following strict guidelines to eliminate any potential health or environmental risks.
After all the valuable parts of the airplane are removed, the aircraft is examined and tested before being torn apart at an industrial airport.
After the engine is disassembled and panels are turned off, the engineers are allowed access to the innermost components. All aircraft parts retrieved are listed down so that they remain traceable, after which they are cleaned and refined.
In the case that the plane is owned by an airline, the parts are sometimes moved to other aircraft or sold in the aftermarket. Many times the parts even need slight modifications to be installed into other planes.
Once the mechanical framework has been detached from all valuable items, it is then ready to be broken down.