Tracing aircraft parts gives University of Limerick a big business opportunity

A new company established by the University of Limerick is developing a register of aircraft parts.

THE growing importance of being able to trace parts used in aircraft repairs has presented a major commercial opportunity for the University of Limerick.

A global aircraft parts register is being developed by UL Aviation Registries, a new company established by the university to tap into  the global commercial aircraft parts market which is worth an estimated €940 billion a year.

The importance of being able to trace parts used in aircraft repairs was highlighted as far back as 2000 when a number of premises in Ireland were raided as part of a joint Garda/FBI investigation into fake aircraft parts.

The raid followed an FBI probe into a number of crashes involving passenger aircraft.

The parts were also sold to military authorities and the Irish Air Corps grounded its aircraft as a precautionary measure after it emerged that it paid a firm at the periphery of the FBI probe hundreds of thousands of euro for parts.

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Raids also took place in Italy in 2002, uncovering thousands of items such as an unreliable fuel gauge, and other falsely certified parts. That prompted a warning to airlines to inspect spare parts that had been installed on their aircraft.

According to the Irish Independent, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its subsequent seizure of jets leased to Russian airlines  underlines the importance of being able to trace the ancestry of aircraft parts.

UL Chief Corporate Officer Andrew Flaherty.

University of Limerick chief corporate officer Andrew Flaherty, confirmed that plans for the registry are advancing.

“The university believes there is an opportunity for an independent company to develop an aircraft parts register using unique identifiers which would make the transfer of data between users much easier and more effective,” he said.

“It will also give benefit to the aircraft insurance operators,” he added. “This company gives the university the opportunity to further expand research in the aviation sector, an area we already have significant expertise in.”

“We are at the beginning of a journey and are delighted that Diarmuid Hyde of AerCap-owned lessor Gecas has agreed to be a non-executive director, giving the company access to his wealth of experience and leadership in aviation,” Mr Flaherty added.