Aircraft Boneyards & Storage Facilities Around the World


Airplanes have been built in countries around the world for decades. As these planes become outdated or no longer needed, they must be stored in boneyards and eventually disposed of.

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Large numbers of surplus aircraft are stored in airplane boneyards in the United States. However, military and airliner boneyards are located around the world, in the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Canada, Russia, and elsewhere.

Boneyards around the world serve several functions, including temporary storage, maintenance, parts reclamation, and scrapping. Some are small, some are open for a time and then closed. Airplane inventories change. Published reports are often inexact, and we have listed below boneyards that are more significant and well known based on our best research.

Airplane Boneyards in Europe

Several major airliner storage, maintenance and reclamation facilities are in operation in Europe, including the United Kingdom, France and Spain.

... about airliner boneyards in the U.K., France and Spain

Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) in Australia

Entrance area to the Pinal Airpark in Arizona
Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage at Alice Springs Airport in Australia (photo courtesy of APAS)

The world's newest "airliner boneyard" at Alice Springs Airport in the Northern Territory of Australia was completed in 2013 and began operations in June of 2014.

Stage one of the multi-million dollar Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) at Alice Springs covers about 10 hectares and includes two access roads, a maintenance shed, a hard-stand area for up to 25 planes and a pad on which parts can be removed or added to aircraft.

The boneyard is operated by Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage Ltd. which chose Alice Springs because its dry, arid climate is ideal for aircraft storage and preservation.

The Alice Springs boneyard will be the first major aircraft storage facility in the southern hemisphere and will cater to Asia-Pacific carriers. It is capable of handling all aircraft types, including the Airbus A380.

For detailed information on the facility, download the brochure from APAS.

Contact the airport at phone +617 3171 4570 or on the web at www.alicespringsairport.com.au

Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage at Alice Springs Airport in Australia (photo courtesy of APAS)
Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage at Alice Springs Airport in Australia
Aerial view of Alice Springs Airport in Australia (photo courtesy of APAS)

Aerial view of Alice Springs Airport in Australia (photo courtesy of APAS)

 


Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport in Canada

23 former Air Canada Jazz and Canadian Regional Airlines Fokker F28 aircraft have been stored at the airport in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan since retirement from the fleet in 2003.

Aerial view of airliner storage at Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport in Saskatchewan
Aerial view of airliner storage at Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport in Saskatchewan

Manas International Airport

When Kyrgyzstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan began a decline, and about 60 abandoned Soviet aircraft, including helicopters to full-sized airliners, were left on the airport ramp at the Eastern end of the field. Today, the airport is one of the largest and modern aviation hubs in Central Asia, servicing numerous airlines and types of airliners.

Aerial view of airplane boneyard at Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan
Aerial view of airplane boneyard at Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan

Predannack Airfield, United Kingdom

The runways at Predannack Airfield are operated by the Royal Navy, and used as a satellite airfield and relief landing ground for nearby RNAS Culdrose. Various retired aircraft belonging to the Royal Naval School of Fire Fighting are in storage at the facility, and used for aircraft crash rescue practice.

The site includes a variety of post-war RAF and Royal Navy aircraft types, from Harrier Jump Jets and Wessex and Sea King helicopters to a Canberra Bomber and Sepecat Jaguar.

The airfield is located on the Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, United Kingdom, near the village of Mullion.

Aerial view of airplane sites at Predannack Airfield in the United Kingdom
Aerial view of airplane boneyard at Predannack Airfield in the United Kingdom

Lukhovitsy, Russia

A small airplane boneyard exists near Lukhovitsy, Moscow Oblast, Russia. The Lukhovitsy-Tretyakovo Airport is operated by Russian Aircraft Corporation as part of the Lukhovitsy Aircraft Production and Test Complex. The town grew rapidly after the transfer of testing (and later production) facilities of the Mikoyan design bureau.

Aerial view of airplane storage area near Lukhovitsy, Russia
Aerial view of airplane storage area near Lukhovitsy, Russia
Jet fighters in storage near Lukhovitsy, Russia
Jet fighters in storage near Lukhovitsy, Russia

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in the Ukraine

On April 26, 1986, the nuclear plant at Chernobyl in the Ukraine experienced a catastrophic accident. Helicopters and equipment such as irradiated Soviet Mil Mi-6 choppers used during the nuclear disaster are still in storage.

Helicopters and other equipment used during the Chernobyl disaster
Helicopters and other equipment used during the Chernobyl disaster

Other Reported or Rumored Boneyards ... in the Past, or Present

Airfield or Facility Name
Purpose or Type
Location
Vozdvizhenka Air Base 18 gutted Tupolev Tu-22M Backfires stored in the far eastern section of Russia Russia
MiG-23 Boneyard Dilapidated MiG-23s from an air force that barely got off the ground in the wake of the U.S. invasion are stored from various hiding places around the former Balad Air Base (now Joint Base Balad). Balad, Iraq
"The Petting Zoo" at Bagram Air Base Various airplane hulks from the Middle East wars Afghanistan
Rinkaby Shooting Range Located in a distant corner of the former Rinkaby military airfield, abandoned Saab 35 Draken fighter planes have met their final resting place Sweden

Map of locations of active and post-WWII airplane boneyards and plane storage facilities in the United States and Around the World

click to view interactive map of airplane boneyards and aircraft storage facilities in the United States and around the world

 

Airliner Spotting Guides

Identification of different airliner types can be hard, considering the number of aircraft operating daily, and in desert storage in Australia, U.K. and the rest of the world.

Our new airliner spotting website includes visual guides and charts for identifying jet airliners from Boeing and Airbus, as well as Bombardier, Embraer, Antonov and others.

... at AirlinerSpotter.com

Spotting Guides for Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and Bombardier jet airliners


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