We were looking at the type of facilities and the sort of suitable environments/and or conditions for aircraft storage and a part from "indoor" it was mentioned that places that are humid is also ideal. Is there are location out there in the world that meets such criteria and/or a place that aeroplanes are sent to "rest" during this period and is there are term for such a place.

  • 13
    $\begingroup$ Who told you humid was good? That's a recipe for mold. Dry climates are best, there is a reason the US military uses Arizona. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 20:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall Yep, humidity is the enemy. Perhaps you meant humidity controlled, Ludwif? $\endgroup$
    – Dan
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ The opposite of "humid" is why the aircraft boneyard for the USAF, US Navy, and multiple airline companies is in the Arizona desert. $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 21:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Humidity and cold are optimal conditions for cigars 😉 $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 8:16
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ "Air needs to have some level of moisture in order for it to become breathable": I don't believe this. $\endgroup$
    – TonyK
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


To add just a little to WPNSGuy's correct answer:

In addition to year-round near-zero humidity and minimal rain and snow, you also need no salt in the environment, cheap real estate, and ready access to a big airport. Several places in Arizona check all these boxes.

Note that because of the intense sunlight with lots of UV in it, you have to protect things like de-icing boots, plastic antenna housings and plexiglass windows by taping them over with protective film- which also protects them from sandstorm damage.

To keep little critters out of the engines and airframe, you also have to plug things like oil cooler inlet scoops and the intake and exhaust ducts of the engines and APU's.

The whole process is a well-developed business called mothballing. A change in fuel costs of just a few percent over time is sufficient to send whole fleets of particular aircraft into mothballs, only to return to service when those costs drop again.

When teaching materials science, a standard exercise is to ask the students why aluminum aircraft that are crashed on tropical rain forest islands in the Pacific literally "melt" into the jungle within years while an identical airplane parked in the Arizona desert shows no ill effects for decades. The answer is that salt plus humidity plus rain plus warm temperatures means rapid corrosion of aluminum alloys. Remove the salt and water, and the corrosion rate of the aluminum drops to very very low levels.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ PS- it is not true that humans need some humidity for air to be breathable. It is perfectly breathable regardless of ambient humidity because your nasal passages humidify it for you exactly as required. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ These information has explained a lot. Mothballing is a new term for me. I reckon the cause of this aluminiummelting is due to salt and acid rain. Thanks a lot $\endgroup$
    – Ludwig T
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 21:48


In the USA, Arizona.

There are several facilities in the Arizona desert for this function. https://www.airplaneboneyards.com/arizona-airplane-boneyards-storage.htm

ex: Pinal Airpark, in Marana Arizona.

It acts as a "boneyard" for civilian commercial aircraft as well as a site for airliner storage and reconfiguration.

Out-of-service aircraft are stored there as the dry desert climate prevents any form of corrosion.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Don't forget Mojave, California, another favorite. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ Central Washington also sees some use. Grant County International isn't quite as dry as Arizona, but it's more convenient, particularly for aircraft that probably only need short-term storage. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 5:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .