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 desert
Continental 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.

Airliner Storage During the COVID-19 Outbreak in 2020

Airliners in temporary storage

As anyone that flies, has ties to the aviation industry, or watches TV knows, the worldwide outbreak of the Corona Virus has had a major negative impact on airlines and their fleets, worldwide. Hundreds of planes are being put into temporary storage.

Grounded airliners in storage in March 2020


Large Boneyards & Storage Facilities 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 County Airpark (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


List of Aircraft Storage Facilities and Parts Reclamation Sites in the United States (By State)

Airfield or Facility Name
Purpose or Type
City
ST
Arkansas International Airport (BYH) Aviation Repair Technologies (ART) operates a facility in Blytheville for aircraft heavy maintenance, short-term aircraft storage, and aircraft disassembly. Blytheville AR
Stuttgart Municipal Airport (SGT) Airliner storage and disassembly by CAVU Aerospace Stuttgart AR
Kingman Airport (IGM) Commercial airliner storage and maintenance Kingman
AZ
Pinal Airark (MZJ) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Marana
AZ
Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR) Commercial airliner storage and maintenance Phoenix
AZ
Davis-Monthan AMARG Military boneyard and storage facility Tucson
AZ
Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Mojave
CA
San Bernardino Intl Airport (SBD) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly San Bernardino
CA
Southern California Logistics Airport (VCV) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Victorville
CA
Bob Sikes Airport (CEW) Airliner acquisition and parts reclamation facility operated by Qwest Air Parts, Inc. Crestview FL
Orlando Sanford International Airport  (SFB) Airliner storage and reclamation facility operated by Avocet MRO Services, Inc., including MRO services, engine services, transition & lease return and aircraft disassembly. Sanford FL
Dodson International General aviation aircraft & helicopter salvage and parts reclamation/sales Rantoul KS
Aberdeen Proving Ground Helicopter and miscellaneous military aircraft storage Aberdeen
MD
Greenwood-Leflore Airport (GWO) Commercial airliner reclamation for airlines such as Iberia, FedEx, Southwest, United, China Southern, and others. 125 miles south of Memphis, TN Greenwood
MS
Tupelo Regional Airport (TUP) Commercial airliner storage and parts reclamation by Universal Asset Management Tupelo
MS
Harry S Truman Regional Airport General aviation airplane storage and parts reclamation by White Industries Inc Bates City
MO
Laurinburg-Maxton Airport (MEB) This small airport is located about two hours southeast of Charlotte. Commercial airliner storage and parts reclamation by Charlotte Aircraft Corporation Laurinburg
NC
Roswell International Air Center (ROW) Commercial airliner storage, maintenance & disassembly Roswell
NM
Abilene Regional Airport (ABI) Commercial airliner storage and maintenance Abilene
TX
Hondo Aerospace LLC The company specializes in aircraft storage and green harvesting of aircraft parts, components, and engines. It also has concrete storage parking for narrow body aircraft. Hondo
TX
Other U.S. Locations with Aircraft Storage or Reclamation Activities
Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) Variety of prop-based cargo planes such as DC-6B, C-118, C-46, Convair C-131 and others. Operated by Everts Air Cargo. Photos by Ruud Leeuw Fairbanks
AK
Buckeye Municipal Airport PA-31 aircraft storage Buckeye AZ
Falcon Field Airplane storage and parts reclamation Mesa
AZ
Tucson International Airport (TUS) Airliner storage and reclamation Tucson AZ
William J. Fox Airport Storage location for fire-fighting tanker aircraft Lancaster
CA
Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport Airliner storage Opa Locka FL
Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Airliner storage and reclamation. Kalitta Air LLC Oscoda MI
Wilmington Airpark Commercial airliner parts reclamation Wilmington
OH
Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Aircraft storage Smyrna TN

Boeing 747 being reclaimed at the Mojave Airport boneyard in California
Boeing 747 being reclaimed at the Mojave Airport in California (photo courtesy of the Mojave Air and Space Port)

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 apron 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 apron 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 apron Aerosave. France
Ireland West Airport Knock Aircraft dismantling facility operated by Eirtrade Aviation. Projects include parts reclamation and scrapping of four Air France Airbus A380 airliners. Ex-Air France A380 F-HPJB (MSN 40, first fight 02/06/2009) arrived at Knock on February 20, 2020. Ireland

 

... about boneyards in Europe   and   boneyards around the world

View of airliners in storage at the Tarmac Aerosave facility at the Teruel Airport in Spain (photo courtesy of Tarmac Aerosave)
View of airliners in storage at the Tarmac Aerosave facility at the Teruel Airport in Spain

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


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



Spotting Airliners

Identification of individual aircraft models can be hard, considering the number of jet airliners serving the worldwide travel industry, and in desert storage.

Visit our new website and explore guides to spotting the common jet airliners of the day from Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier.

... 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

 

Airplane Boneyard Tours in the U.S.

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 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


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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