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In Limbo, Jetliners Get a Little TLC

More than 300 airplanes are wrapped up and await new owners at the Evergreen Air Center, located at Pinal Air Park in Marana, Ariz., northwest of Tucson.
Ted Robbins, NPR
More than 300 airplanes are wrapped up and await new owners at the Evergreen Air Center, located at Pinal Air Park in Marana, Ariz., northwest of Tucson.

With commercial airlines struggling to cut costs, they often pull aircraft out of service, putting them into storage at places like the Pinal Air Park in the Arizona desert.

There, rows and rows of airliners sit baking in the sun, their windows taped against wind-blown dust. They're perfectly serviceable -- just too expensive to continue flying.

Workers at the facility periodically start the planes' engines, much the same way one would start an old Volvo in the driveway to keep it from seizing up. NPR's Ted Robbins gets a tour of the facility.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

As supervising editor for Arts and Culture at NPR based at NPR West in Culver City, Ted Robbins plans coverage across NPR shows and online, focusing on TV at a time when there's never been so much content. He thinks "arts and culture" encompasses a lot of human creativity — from traditional museum offerings to popular culture, and out-of-the-way people and events.