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World Aviation Festival: IATA boss gives safety reassurance after fake parts scandal

IATA boss Willie Walsh has issued reassurances about the safety of the aviation sector following a fake spare parts scandal.

According to a report by Bloomberg airlines have been duped into buying parts with forged certificates by London-based AOG Technics.

Last month, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EUASA) ordered airlines to quarantine parts supplied with counterfeit documents over concerns about their origin and reliability.

The issue was said to involve older-generation Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft with CFM56 engines manufactured by General Electric and Safran.

GE and Safran joint venture CFM International has filed a lawsuit requesting an injunction to force AOG to provide more information so the parts already in circulation can be tracked down.

In a statement the firm said: “Safety is our first priority, and we are taking aggressive legal action against AOG Technics to accelerate the industry’s ability to identify parts sold by this third-party with falsified documentation.”

According to reports, fake parts have been found on aircraft registered in the UK. The Civil Aviation Authority said it was investigating “a large number of suspect unapproved parts.”

CFM International has discovered 50 numbered parts with more than 70 falsified airworthiness certificates supplied by AOG Technics.

Willie Walsh, IATA director general, speaking at last week’s World Aviation Festival, said airlines have robust procedures in place for monitoring parts and is getting safer.

“There are string controls in place around spare parts. Yes, there have always issues around some rogue parts. We have seen this before and recently the publicity about it has been greater.

“Airlines have very robust processes in place that ensure that parts are properly developed, manufactured and delivered. We are always on the lookout for rogue spare parts.

Walsh added: “The industry continue to be safe. The safety record of the industry continues to improve. We continue to monitor this as we always have done. We will ensure there are robust procedures in place to monitor the situation.”

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