Planes that don't fly: Airplane 'boneyard' in the desert

Planes that don't fly: Airplane 'boneyard' in the desert

Hundreds of airplanes from the Asia-Pacific region will fly to the Australian desert -- and stay
Thousands of idle aircraft in the US desert has set a trend.

Where do airplanes go when they stop flying? The answer -- a boneyard.

The Australian desert is preparing to store Asia’s retiring aircraft by hosting an aviation scrapheap, garage -- or boneyard -- just outside Alice Springs.

Decommissioned planes will rest there and be stripped of wiring and electronics. Others could be reconditioned back into service.

The boneyard will offer short and long term storage to 250 to 300 aircraft on 110 hectares opposite Alice Springs Airport.

It seems they’re fairly excited about all this in the Northern Territory.

"It's quite ground-breaking for this part of the world," Alice Springs Airport general manager, Katie Cooper, told “Our big market will be the Asia-Pacific carriers, because of the proximity."

The area was chosen by Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) as the dry, arid climate reduces airplane erosion.

The managing director of APAS, Tom Vincent, said in a statement to "Operators (and) owners have historically ferried aircraft to the west coast of the United States, (but) APAS will now provide a local alternative, thereby delivering significant fleet efficiencies and costs savings,” 

The world’s biggest boneyard is the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Arizona that stores over 4,000 aircraft.

Aviation collectors and engineers even buy souvenirs and parts online at

The construction of the Australian version will commence this year, with the first aircraft expected to arrive early next year.