AviTrader has spoken with various experts from the industry on how they ensure that all components, especially used ones, and their certificates comply with regulations, and their responses are highly reassuring in an industry where safety is at the root of all actions and processes.

Some airlines seem reluctant to install USM or restrict its use to non-critical parts. We wanted to find out why this might be the case.

The overall consensus is that airlines do not necessarily need to be wary of using USM, primarily because of the strict regulations that help to mitigate safety risks. In the opinion of Max Lutje Wooldrik, Founder & CEO – APOC Aviation: “By ensuring rigorous certification processes, enhancing traceability, and maintaining strict quality control, USM can be a reliable and cost-effective option for aircraft maintenance, without compromising safety or operational efficiency.”

Simon Walker, SVP Technical, AerFin feels that the company’s customer base will show that the number of airlines restricting the use of USM has fallen over the past two decades. He feels this is because airlines get accustomed to installing USM and are more accepting of the additional technical and trace paperwork that it brings about. However, he does note that: “There will be times when airlines only install new for certain parts or specific critical areas of the aircraft. This could be driven by the reliability or durability of a part that may only be demonstrable by installing new parts and consequently ensuring the technical integrity for that function of the aircraft.”

Simon Walker, SVP Technical at AerFin
Simon Walker, SVP Technical

We wanted to know what were considered key factors for airworthiness when sourcing USM.

Simon Walker at AerFin was asked, he advised that: “The Key factors that end users routinely demand is integrity of the paperwork – where and who has operated that part, how as it been removed, is there a clear audit trail from the removed aircraft to the repair shop and what specific repairs have been performed for the recertification and restoration of its airworthiness. It is worth noting that end users and airlines keep approved vendor lists to ensure USM is being repaired at trusted repair shops which are routinely audited and have a robust quality management system so airlines can be confident of the reliability of the subject part being installed.”

Download and read the full article from January 2024's edition of AviTrader MRO’ magazine