The Upper Michigan Green Aviation Coalition (UMGAC) held its first of three conferences on May 12, 2011 in Marquette at Northern Michigan University. According to the Coalition, “The mission is to join private and public sector partners across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and bordering regions, with experts from throughout the world, to develop new business opportunities, create jobs, develop new employee categories, promote investment, develop and commercialize advanced technologies, promote collaboration among cluster partners and expand third-party business and financing services within the field of green aviation.”
The Coalition has targeted three main areas:
1. The environmentally-sensitive recycling of aging aircraft;
2. Research and development of recycling processes and new “green product” development, including fuel efficiencies; and
3. The commercialization of green aviation technologies developed through the Coalition’s research and development efforts and manufacturing of those products.
William Carberry, Deputy Director of the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and Project Manager, Aircraft and Composite Recycling for Boeing and Gavin Brown, President, Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association were the featured speakers at the May 12 conference.
Carberry focused on Boeing’s green strategies, whose mission is to “attain sustainable environmental solutions and reduce lifecycle carbon dioxide by maximizing recycling.” Boeing aims to work with the industry toward a 90% recyclable aircraft by 2016.
Carberry explained that Boeing’s approach to the advancement and acceleration of new technologies includes:
· Reducing raw material use;
· Reuse materials often and efficiently;
· Recycling to the highest value; and
· Maximize the use of renewable resources.
AFRA’s members recycle more than 150 retired planes per year, which equals to approximately 30,000 tons of aircraft aluminum recycled per year and more than 600 tons of parts returned safely to service per year.
Brown discussed the growth of the aerospace industry and challenges manufacturers face. According to 2009 statistics, the aerospace industry accounts for $203 billion in sales, $19 billion in profits and directly employees 830,000 people.
Brown notes that commercial aircraft represents the largest portion of the aerospace manufacturing industry, which is currently valued at $118 billion annually and is expected to grow by $140 billion by 2015.
The second conference is June 15 from 1-4:30 pm at the Terrace Bay Inn in Gladstone, Mich. Joel Schultz, Regional Director, Michigan Small Business &Technology Development Center will give a presentation on its services. “Lean and Green Manufacturing Processes and Companies” will be presented by Michael Rothmeir, P.E., Simple Solution Consulting . Other presenters include Joaquim R.R.A. Martins, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Head of the Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Lab; Carlton Crothers, CEO, Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation Smart Zone and Dave Groudreau, President and CEO, Northern Wings Repairs.
For more information on the Coalition, conferences and conference registration, visit www.migreenaviation.com.