The paper presents application of damage tolerance optimisation principles to the design of industrial components. It is illustrated via design optimisation of a Fuel Flow Vent Hole (FFVH) located in the Wing Pivot Fitting (WPF) of an F-111 aircraft. The aim is to determine the shape of the cutout that will maximise its residual strength under the operating loading conditions. Damage tolerance shape optimisation is performed using a heuristic optimisation method known as the ‘Biological algorithm’. The maximum stress intensity factor (SIF) for all of the cracks around the boundary of the optimal cutout is found to be significantly lower compared to that of the initial shape. This shows that an improved residual (fracture) strength is achieved for the optimal designs. The variability in SIF around the cutout boundary is reduced, thereby making the shape more evenly fracture critical. The shapes of the residual strength optimal vent holes are found to depend on the initial crack sizes. It is also shown that a damage tolerance optimisation additionally produces a lighter WPF component design, which is highly desirable for aerospace industries.