SILC 2017 Shines the Spotlight on Shannon as Centre of Technical Excellence and Innovation in Aviation

Aug. 31, 2017
Connecting technical executives from global airlines and the aviation leasing community, the second annual SILC conference creates a forum for intelligence sharing and debate.

Shannon, Republic of Ireland – August 30th 2017: On Friday 10th November, the University of Limerick will host 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 will deliver the opening address and focus on the importance of Shannon in the Irish Aviation Strategy and a keynote address from the airline, Norwegian, will set the scene.  This will be followed by a panel discussion entitled ‘Doing Business in the Mid-West of Ireland’ where the commercial imperatives driving the aviation sector in Ireland are analysed and the unique benefits that the region is delivering are divulged. 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. The panel will include: Julie Dickerson, Managing Director at Shannon Engine Support; Ray O’Driscoll, Managing Director of Shannon Commercial Properties; Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director of Shannon Heritage, and Gerry Reynolds, Managing Director at Takumi Precision.

Following the opening session, the emphasis will shift 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. How will the recent phase of M&A activity within the leasing business overall impact the Irish aviation scene? Is there more consolidation to come? How is the emergence of Chinese leasing companies driving down deals? How can Ireland’s place on the leasing landscape remain secure?

It is anticipated that invited delegates from the Dublin aviation leasing community will challenge panellist opinion provided by: 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 at M J McMahon & Company Limited.

The conference will go on to look at the emergence and adoption of new digital technologies and processes and showcase an exciting new development as the ’Digitalisation project in the IAA’ is 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. Previously paper forms for tasks such as aircraft registration will now be replaced by an online 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 will debate ‘Digitalisation in aircraft transitions’.  Brendan McConnellogue, Maintenance & Technical Director at easyJet; and Declan Cotter, Head of Technical at leading commercial aircraft lessor, BBAM; will join colleagues from the Irish Aviation Authority to discuss the digitalisation of aircraft maintenance data. This promises many advantages and airlines, owners and MROs have been investing heavily in such systems in recent years. But will digital documentation and authorised digital signatures really create an error free hand-back process, or will there always be a place for detailed review by technical personnel? Where can digitalisation really add value in the lease hand-back process and what does it demand of all parties?

Host venue, the University of Limerick, has a long tradition of working with the aviation sector on research programmes and offers courses that develop focused and dedicated academics and engineers. Many alumni now undertake senior technical roles across the global industry and enjoy learning about innovation and academic studies.  In a special part of the programme, UL will showcase their recent developments in composite materials research.

Richard O’Grady, Sales Director at Magellan Aviation Group explains why his company is investing in SILC 2017. “The first step in creating an industry driven initiative was taken in 2016 with the inaugural Shannon International Aviation Conference (SILC). Fifteen local aviation companies joined forces to create this unique event and we were keen to play a significant role. The exclusive conference was created to showcase the location and inform our highly respected specialist aviation audience of around 150 delegates what commercial and operational benefits can be exploited.   In particular how the technical services based here can be trusted to underpin Ireland’s aircraft leasing industry.”

“With its history, location and capabilities Shannon is an ideal location for the performance of technical services on leased aircraft” adds John Drysdale, Business Development Director from Shannon Group plc. “This event enables us to engage with leasing companies, airlines and maintenance, overhaul and repair businesses to see how we transform Shannon into a globally recognised leasing hub.”

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