MIAMI — The first Airbus A380 to be decommissioned has been successfully scrapped as of Wednesday. After being announced over a year ago, the deconstruction process has taken roughly 11 months, having begun earlier this year.
The news comes several months after Airbus announced that production of the A380, which has been underway since 2007, would be terminated in 2021. The aircraft was flown by Singapore Airlines for 10 years.
TARMAC Aerosave, a company specializing in storage, maintenance, and recycling, has undertaken the decommissioning process at the Tarbes Lourdes Airport in collaboration with Dr. Peters, the aircraft’s owner, and VAS Aero Services, the party that will manage the resale of the A380’s equipment.
In order to deconstruct the A380, TARMAC has been utilizing an eco-responsible process of cold cutting, watering, drainage, and selective sorting. The procedure can recover 90% of the aircraft’s materials, sending the spare parts collected to the secondary market.
A second deconstruction site is currently being constructed. TARMAC has also relied on the support of Next Aero Concept, a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) company that has built cradles and other machinery to aid in the dismantling process.
TARMAC Aerosave also offers aircraft storage services, and the company stores a number of other A380s for Airbus. The French company currently stores these aircraft in two European sites: one in Tarbes, France, and the other in Teruel, Spain.
TARMAC Aerosave also plans to conduct a ‘B Check’ for its stored A380s in March 2020, offering a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the aircraft’s needs throughout its full life cycle. This is the only offering of its kind available on the market and allows access to TARMAC’s expertise in cabin and technical modification.
The company also possesses a relatively attractive track record in aircraft storage. Since 2007, 560 aircraft have returned to service out of a total of 850 in storage.
TARMAC Aerosave was founded in Tarbes in 2007 and has since expanded its operations to Teruel in 2013 and Toulouse-Francazal, France in 2017. The group maintains the largest aircraft storage capacity in Europe, able to house up to 300 aircraft while offering maintenance operations for all main aircraft manufacturers and a CFM56 engine shop.