Aeroplane recycling plant launched in Norwich
The aviation business behind a new aircraft recycling facility at Norwich International Airport said the move will help the local economy and create jobs.
Plane maintenance firm KLM Engineering UK unveiled the facility at its base on Liberator Road yesterday, amid claims that it would give the firm – and the region– a 'competitive edge' on the rest of Europe when it comes to making money from regenerating and retiring old aeroplanes.
The project, which will forge 10 new engineering jobs, makes Norwich Airport one of only a handful of flight hubs across the UK that will offer the service.
And more than a dozen old aeroplanes will be broken up at Norwich over the next year – with plans to double that number in 2014, the company said.
It comes as KLM Engineering UK revealed that it sees £20m of its £30m revenues flow back into the East Anglian economy through its staff salaries and spend on local services.
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Paul Chun, managing director of KLM Engineering, said the new arm will give the business a competitive edge across Europe and provide alternative solution for companies which send a planes to be dismantled in a Middle Eastern desert.
'To operate from cradle to grave in this way gives us a range of options to offer our customers,' he said. 'The benefit of Norwich Airport is that it has a lot of space, so we can park an aeroplane here until the market picks up and the customer wants to refurbish a plane, or if the doesn't pick up and the customer doesn't need it anymore, then we can take it apart and recycle it.'
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'This builds on our core business of maintaining aeroplanes, and what we are really proud of is that we have developed it from the skills we already have within our staff.'
Meanwhile, George Nobbs, the leader of Norfolk County Council, said: 'What I think is most positive about this announcement is hearing the managing director say that he wants to employ local people – that is excellent news and what I want to hear.
'We have got an active workforce here and we want to increase the skills and economic development of the region. That is why the aviation academy is also going to be fantastic news for Norfolk and exciting news for Norwich.