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CAAC & AFRA Sign Pivotal MoU for Cooperation on Aircraft Disassembly

On Monday, September 18, 2023, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build cooperation on aircraft disassembly. The signing ceremony took place in Los Angeles, California, and Infinity Air Group’s President and CEO, Jimmy Wu, had the pleasure of being in attendance. He shares his thoughts on the momentous occasion below.


Jimmy Wu, President & CEO of Infinity Air Group, and ASA member infant of the banner at the CAAC-AFRA MoU signing ceremony on Monday, September 18,2023.
Jimmy Wu, President & CEO of Infinity Air Group, and ASA Board Member poses in front of the banner at the CAAC-AFRA MoU signing ceremony on Monday, September 18,2023.

In the realm of aviation, safety is paramount. Ensuring that aircraft are maintained and retired responsibly, with all components meeting stringent safety standards, is a fundamental concern. In recent years, concerns have risen regarding unapproved parts and fraudulent paperwork in the aircraft recycling industry, highlighting the urgency for international collaboration and agreements to strengthen safety standards.


One significant step in addressing these concerns is the MoU signed between AFRA and CAAC. This collaborative effort underscores the importance of responsible aircraft retirement and recycling practices. This partnership becomes even more significant given recent incidents involving unapproved parts and fraudulent documentation.


Representatives from AFRA and the CAAC pose after the signing of the MoU for cooperation on Aircraft Disassembly
Representatives from AFRA and the CAAC pose after the signing of the MoU for cooperation on Aircraft Disassembly

The Importance of the AFRA-CAAC MOU

  1. Elevating Safety Standards: Aircraft recycling is a complex process, involving the dismantling and recycling of numerous components, some of which can be hazardous. The AFRA-CAAC MoU emphasizes the importance of maintaining and improving safety standards, ensuring that aircraft recycling facilities adhere to the highest safety protocols. This is crucial to prevent accidents and protect workers in the industry.

  2. Environmental Responsibility: Beyond safety, responsible recycling practices also promote environmental sustainability. The agreement addresses the need to minimize waste and pollution during aircraft retirement and recycling, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable aviation industry.

  3. International Cooperation: The collaboration between AFRA and CAAC exemplifies the power of international cooperation in addressing global aviation challenges. Ensuring that aircraft, no matter their origin or destination, are recycled safely and responsibly benefits the industry, passengers, and the environment worldwide.

  4. Combating Unapproved Parts and Fraudulent Documentation: Recent incidents involving unapproved parts and fraudulent paperwork have raised serious concerns. This agreement provides a platform for both organizations to jointly tackle these issues. By sharing best practices and information, they can work to prevent the infiltration of counterfeit or substandard parts into the aviation supply chain.

  5. Regulatory Compliance: The MoU underscores the importance of adhering to international and domestic regulations governing aircraft recycling. This commitment to regulatory compliance helps maintain the integrity of the aviation industry.


Jimmy Wu, President & CEO of Infinity Air Group, poses with Brent Webb, AFRA Board President
Jimmy Wu, President & CEO of Infinity Air Group, poses with Brent Webb, AFRA Board President

The U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP) and Boeing were attended the signing ceremony. ACP plays a pivotal role in facilitating collaboration between the U.S. and China. It serves as a bridge for sharing knowledge and best practices, allowing both countries to learn from each other's experiences in aircraft recycling and safety.


Also present was the FAA. As the U.S. aviation regulatory authority, the FAA contributes extensive expertise in safety and regulatory compliance to the agreement. Its involvement ensures rigorous safety standards are upheld, contributing to safer aircraft recycling practices.


The MoU can also serve as a springboard for educational initiatives to raise awareness about counterfeit parts among industry professionals, procurement officers, and regulatory authorities. Informed stakeholders are better equipped to identify and report suspicious activities.


Additionally, the MoU fosters international cooperation between key aviation stakeholders. It provides a platform for AFRA, CAAC, FAA, and ACP to share information and intelligence on the procurement and distribution of counterfeit parts. Collaborative efforts can expose fraudulent supply chains and lead to more effective enforcement actions.


The agreement encourages the exchange of best practices in safety and compliance. By drawing on the collective knowledge and expertise of the above organizations, strategies to identify and prevent counterfeit parts from entering the aviation supply chain can be developed and implemented.


Counterfeit parts often exploit regulatory gaps or variations between countries. The MoU promotes regulatory harmonization and consistency in aircraft recycling and safety practices. This alignment can help establish a unified approach to addressing counterfeit parts across borders.


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