Published on : Friday, November 10, 2017
The University of Limerick plays host to the second annual Shannon International Leasing Conference with a distinguished audience of technical strategists and engineers from within the aviation industry. Primary sponsors – Magellan Aviation Group and Shannon IASC (the Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre) – have combined forces with other aviation sector specialists located in Shannon to highlight the significant benefits that the region can offer in terms of skilled resources, commercial cost benefits and global networking opportunities.
Minister Pat Breen delivered the opening address focusing on the importance of Shannon in the Irish Aviation Strategy.
This was followed by a panel discussion entitled ‘Doing Business in the Mid-West of Ireland’. Multi-national companies currently employ over 14,000 staff in the area, commercial rents and domestic house prices are approximately half those of Dublin, there are daily flight frequencies to both the USA and the UK, and universities are expanding their scope and international visibility, increasing the available talent pool. So the commercial imperatives driving the aviation sector in Ireland were analysed and the unique benefits that the region is delivering were discussed by: Jim Murphy, Chief Commercial Officer, Nordic Aviation Capital; Julie Dickerson, Managing Director Shannon Engine Support; Ray O’Driscoll, Managing Director of Shannon Commercial Properties; Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director of Shannon Heritage.
Following the opening session, the emphasis shifted to a lively debate around ‘Consolidation/Mergers within Aviation Leasing’. With more than $140bn of aircraft assets managed from Ireland, the country continues to develop its position as the global hub for aircraft finance and leasing, and almost all of the world’s leading lessors have established strong operational bases here. Panellists – Julian Rouchy Kelly, Chief Operating Officer at Accipiter Holdings DAC; Karl Griffin, Chief Operating Officer at DAE; and John McMahon, Aviation Leasing & Finance Advisor, Non-Executive Director and Lecturer – debated how the recent phase of M&A activity within the leasing business overall will impact the Irish aviation scene and how Ireland’s place on the leasing landscape can remain secure.
The conference also looked at the emergence and adoption of new digital technologies and processes and showcased an exciting new development as the ’Digitalisation project in the IAA’ was introduced. The Irish Aviation Authority is implementing a new platform enabling aircraft owners, operators, and their agents to interact with the Authority’s airworthiness and other departments. Paper forms for tasks such as aircraft registration will now be replaced by an on-line system that is smarter and more efficient. The new system will significantly speed up procedures, increase transparency, reduce errors, and minimise the resultant delays.
Following this, a knowledgeable panel debated ‘Digitalisation in aircraft transitions’ Declan Cotter, Head of Technical at leading commercial aircraft lessor, BBAM; joined Ralph James Director, Safety Regulation Division from the Irish Aviation Authority; and John Barry VP, Sales and Marketing in Seabury Solutions and Peter Collins, Director of Sales in CloudCARDS Ltd to discuss the digitalisation of aircraft maintenance data.
The conference closed with a discussion about Shannon’s focus on becoming the ideal partner for lessors and their support infrastructure: “With its history, location and capabilities Shannon is an ideal location for the performance of technical services on leased aircraft” commented John Drysdale, Business Development Director from Shannon Group plc. “This event has enabled us to engage with leasing companies, airlines and maintenance, overhaul and repair businesses to see how we present Shannon as a globally recognised leasing hub.”