List and Map of Active and Post-WWII Aircraft Boneyards and Storage Facilities


Military Aircraft Boneyards

Fighter boneyard at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, post World War IIFighter boneyard at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, post World War IIFighter boneyard at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, post World War II

The United States manufactured about 294,000 aircraft for WWII, and once peace was assured the military found itself with a huge surplus of aircraft.

Within a year of the end of the war, about 34,000 airplanes had been moved to 30 sales-storage depots, or "aircraft boneyards".

It was estimated a total of 117,210 aircraft would be declared surplus. 

If a plane was not sold at boneyards such as those at Kingman AAF, Cal-Aero Field, and Walnut Ridge AAF, it was stripped of classified information, sliced up with guillotines, and melted in smelters into ingots.

... about post-WWII boneyards

Today, as Air Force, Navy and Marine planes become obsolete and need to be disposed of, or saved for future return to service, they are stored in the Arizona desert.

Long-term aircraft storage area at Davis-Monthan AFB's Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG)
Long-term aircraft storage area at Davis-Monthan AMARG (staff photo)

The Air Force Materiel Command's 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) operates the world's largest boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona.

... about Davis-Monthan AFB's AMARG facility

Airliner Boneyards, Storage and Parts Reclamation Facilities

Commercial airliners have limited lifespans. Some are temporarily taken off flying status, and must be stored in a environment that is conducive to preservation. Others are kept for spare parts for flying aircraft.

Continental ExpressJets in storage at Kingman Airport in the Arizona desertContinental ExpressJets in storage at Kingman Airport in the Arizona desert (staff photo)

To protect airliners during their storage from wind and sun damage, engines and windows are tightly covered with white, reflective materials. A sealed airliner can thus be stored safely, for years, until the time comes to return it to active duty, or salvage.

Eventually, all airliners are removed permanently from service and must be "disposed" of.

Airliner "boneyards" in the western United States serve several functions: temporary storage, maintenance, parts reclamation, and scrapping.

Large Boneyards in the Western U.S.

Located in Arizona, California and New Mexico are seven major airplane boneyards, each located in dry, low-humidity desert environments and offering long runways and extensive storage areas. Shown below is a list of these boneyard facilities.

Airfield or Facility Name
Purpose or Type
City
ST
Runway Length
Southern California Logistics Airport - SCLA (VCV) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Victorville
CA
15,050'
Davis-Monthan AFB (DMA) Military boneyard and storage facility Tucson
AZ
13,643'
Roswell International Air Center (ROW) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Roswell
NM
13,001'
Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Mojave
CA
12,503'
Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR) Commercial airliner storage and maintenance Phoenix
AZ
8,500'
Pinal Air Park (MZJ) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Marana
AZ
6,849'
Kingman Airport (IGM) Commercial airliner storage and maintenance Kingman
AZ
6,827'

Map of major airplane boneyards and storage facilities in the deserts of the western USA


Airplane Boneyard Tours

Virtually all airplane boneyards and storage facilities are limited access sites and do not allow visitors. We encourage potential visitors to check with individual sites to learn about access policies and tours.

Pima Air & Space Museum, the starting point of boneyard tours of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson

The largest boneyard in the world, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, does allow tours of its Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) facility.

Tour tickets must be purchased at the Pima Air & Space Museum, across East Valencia Road from the base. Bus tours also originate at the museum.

Click here for more information about airplane boneyard tours

List of Active Aircraft Storage Facilities and Parts Reclamation Sites in the United States

Airfield or Facility Name
Purpose or Type
City
ST
Davis-Monthan AMARG Military boneyard and storage facility Tucson
AZ
Mojave Air and Space Port Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Mojave
CA
Southern California Logistics Airport Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Victorville
CA
Kingman Airport Commercial airliner storage and maintenance Kingman
AZ
Pinal Air Park Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Marana
AZ
Roswell International Air Center Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Roswell
NM
Phoenix Goodyear Airport Commercial airliner storage and maintenance Phoenix
AZ
Abilene Regional Airport Commercial airliner storage and maintenance Abilene
TX
Greenwood-Leflore Airport Commercial airliner reclamation for airlines such as Iberia, FedEx, Southwest, United, China Southern, and others. 125 miles south of Memphis, TN Greenwood
MS
Everts Air Cargo at Fairbanks International Airport Photos by Ruud Leeuw Variety of prop-based cargo planes such as DC-6B, C-118, C-46, Convair C-131 and others Fairbanks
AK
Wilmington Airpark Commercial airliner parts reclamation Wilmington
OH
Tupelo Regional Airport Commercial airliner storage and parts reclamation by Universal Asset Management Tupelo
MS
Falcon Field Airplane storage and parts reclamation Mesa
AZ
William J. Fox Airport Storage location for fire-fighting tanker aircraft Lancaster
CA
Laurinburg-Maxton Airport This small airport is located about two hours southeast of Charlotte. Commercial airliner storage and parts reclamation by Charlotte Aircraft Corporation Laurinburg
NC
Aberdeen Proving Ground Helicopter and miscellaneous military aircraft storage Aberdeen
MD

List of Post-WWII Military Aircraft Boneyards, Sales Depots and Disposal Facilities in the U.S.

Airfield or Facility Name
Purpose or Type
City
ST
Kingman Army Air Field Short-term storage & aircraft disposal Kingman
AZ
Walnut Ridge Army Air Field Short-term storage & aircraft disposal Walnut Ridge
AR
Cal-Aero Field and Ontario Depot Short-term storage & aircraft disposal Chino
CA
Altus Army Air Field Short-term storage & aircraft disposal Altus
OK
Clinton Naval Air Station Short-term storage & aircraft disposal Clinton
OK
Albuquerque Army Air Field Short-term storage & aircraft disposal Albuquerque
NM
Victory Field Short-term storage & aircraft disposal Vernon
TX
Davis-Monthan AFB Long-term storage Tucson
AZ
Pyote Army Air Field Long-term storage Pyote
TX
Victorville Army Air Field Long-term storage Victorville
CA
Warner Robins Army Air Depot Long-term storage Robins
GA

Other Inactive or Abandoned U.S. Aircraft Boneyards

Airfield or Facility Name
Purpose or Type
City
ST
St. Augustine Airport Until about 2010, a storage facility for U.S. Navy Grumman S-2 Tracker aircraft. Latest reports indicate no aircraft are stored here. St. Augustine
FL
El Paso County Small abandoned boneyard. details at LostDestinations El Paso
TX
China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station Not accessible to the public. Former storage location for numerous B-29 Superfortresses to be used for weapons testing. Ridgecrest
CA

Major Airplane Boneyards Around the World

Huge fleets of surplus aircraft are stored in boneyards in the United States, but also around the world in England, Australia, Spain, France, Russia and elsewhere.

Storage facilities such as the Tarmac Aerosave operation at the Teruel Airport in Eastern Spain and Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) at Alice Springs in Australia are designed to store and salvage large numbers of airliners.

Airfield or Facility Name
Purpose or Type
Country
Alice Springs Airport Stage one of the multi-million dollar Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) covers about 10 hectares and includes two access roads, a maintenance shed, a hard-stand area for up to 25 planes. Australia
Teruel Airport Operated by Tarmac Aerosave, this is the largest airliner storage facility in Europe, designed to handle 250 large aircraft. Spain
Cotswold Airport Air Salvage International (ASI) is one of Europe’s leading airliner storage and maintenance facilities. At Kemble-Cotswold Airport, it has secure parking for in excess of 20 wide and up to 50 narrow bodied commercial aircraft. United Kingdom
Tarbes–Lourdes–Pyrénées Airport It mainly handles scheduled and charter flights from a variety of airlines across Europe. The airport has sufficient capabilities to handle large aircraft such as the Boeing 747. Facility is operated by Tarmac Aerosave. France

 

... about boneyards around the world

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 around the world daily, and in desert storage around the world.

Our new airliner spotting website includes visual guides 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


Where Airliners Go to Die ... and Be Recycled

Special Report: How Airliners Are Scrapped and Recycled


AIRLINER BONEYARDS  |  AMARG MILITARY BONEYARD AT DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB
BONEYARD STORAGE, PARTS RECLAMATION & SCRAPPING OPERATIONS
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An online resource about facilities engaged in the storage, reclamation & disassembly of aircraft ... we do not own or operate a boneyard, or have an affiliation with any boneyard, the Department of Defense, or any aviation museum or tour group