Morocco’s airport authority hopes to revitalize the aerospace industry in Morocco by developing a 54 hectare aircraft boneyard outside the Oujda airport.
Rabat – Morocco’s National Airport Office (ONDA) announced a 10-year renewable bid for the construction of an aircraft boneyard outside Oujda, northeastern Morocco. The site will serve as a space for aircraft storage and will facilitate disassembly and recycling operations.
Morocco has invested heavily in the aerospace industry in recent years.
According to a study by Canada’s trade commissioner, Morocco has “140 firms operating in aeronautics and aerospace, generating CAD 2.7 billion (MAD 19.6 billion, USD 2.2 billion) in export revenue and sustaining over 17,500 jobs.”
Morocco exports aerospace products to the US, UK, France, and Germany and hosts a variety of international aerospace companies such as Bombardier, Boeing, Airbus, and Safran.
The UK proposed building an aircraft boneyard outside Errachidia in 2008 but the project gained little traction with the Moroccan government.
Bids for the 10-year renewable project will open on June 8 and the ONDA hopes that the aircraft boneyard in Oujda will overhaul Morocco’s aerospace industry, which took a hit after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the global airline industry suffered over $84 billion of revenue losses due to COVID-19.
Major airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France, and American Airlines decommissioned many aircraft due to the pandemic, forcing their storage in “boneyards” around the world.
The US International Trade Organization stated that Morocco’s aerospace industry prior to COVID-19 “presented diverse opportunities including supply inputs, finished aircraft, maintenance, and airport infrastructure.” The new aircraft boneyard will add aircraft storage and recycling to the long list of feats.
Aircraft storage is an important asset for competitive players in the global aviation market as aircraft manufacturers and international airlines pay to store and recycle their aircraft.
The world’s largest aircraft boneyard, AMARG, is located in Tucson in the US state of Arizona and stores thousands of military aircraft across 1,052 hectares of land.
The Oujda aircraft boneyard will start at 10 hectares and may expand to 54 hectares if there is a large demand for aircraft storage.