Belgium-based aircraft recycling/up-cycling service Aerocircular is expanding its operations in North America with a new facility at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona.
The company is expected to create more than 130 jobs over five years in this fully autonomous maintenance, repair and overhaul facility that will serve the continental market.
Aerocircular will occupy hangar space at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to allow for the disassembly and dismantling of three 737s at one time, with two planes in the hangar, and one on the apron. The turnaround time for completion of one aircraft is three weeks or less.
The company provides green, economical end-of-life aircraft recycling/up-cycling services. The company has created a niche market that salvages parts for reuse in aircraft; repurposes parts for other uses outside the aviation industry; or breaks down materials altogether, resulting in high-quality raw materials, like composite or aluminum to be used in entirely new products.
“For us, an airplane is like a box of materials. We are targeting airplanes between the age of 15 and 20 years old, because they have many pieces that are still very valuable to aviation, for example, engines or landing gear,” said Koen Staut, CEO of Aerocircular. “The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is an ideal location for our operation. Planes can fly right up to our facility, and the infrastructure is there to support the transport of parts to the marketplace.”
“I am proud to announce that Aerocircular will be bringing 137 jobs to our state, furthering our state as a leader in aerospace and defense,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “With over $3.6 million in investment related to this expansion, this deal represents a significant addition to our state and Arizona welcomes Aerocircular.”
According to city officials, this will be Aerocircular’s first and only operation in North America. The company plans to hire 35 employees this year in management, certifying staff and non-skilled labor positions.
“Arizona is a leader in the maintenance, repair and overhaul sector and provides the top talent, history of expertise and excellent infrastructure that Aerocircular was seeking,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We thank Aerocircular for their investment in our state, and look forward to supporting their continued success!”
“We are proud that Aerocircular has chosen Mesa for their first location in North America,” Mayor John Giles said. “Their aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul operation is a perfect fit for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and we look forward to welcoming more than 130 jobs to southeast Mesa.
“We are very fortunate to be working in collaboration with the City of Mesa and the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority to deliver the first private hangar development at the airport in almost ten years,” said David Wetta, Founder & Owner of developer Wetta Ventures, LLC. “The 45,000-square foot MRO will be custom-designed for Aerocircular. This development has so many exciting aspects; aviation, sustainability, and technology.” Currently, Aerocircular’s focus is on jetliners, but the company is also beginning to enter the market for recycling/up-cycling of military planes.
"Greater Phoenix has a long history with the aerospace industry and it’s exciting to welcome Aerocircular, a Belgian aircraft upcycling business to the market,” says Chris Camacho, President & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Their innovative business model is in great company in Mesa and the location at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport puts them alongside many other exciting ventures."
More than 55,000 people work in Arizona’s 563 aerospace and defense establishments, including 140 FAA-certified MRO operations. Arizona MRO operations have the third-highest total economic impact in the nation of over $4 billion, behind only California and Washington.