March 9, 2018 Blockchain

Blockchain for Aviation Industry- Implementation, Benefits & Use cases

Growing industries are a result of constant change and implementation of modern technology. With the increasing demand of customers in the service industry, it is becoming increasingly important to maintain the right balance between customer demand and supply. The groundbreaking technology of blockchain is a new addition to the set of revolutionary technologies of the modern world. Blockchain, even in its infancy, has captured the attention of numerous industries with its abilities of decentralization, scalability and security. The aviation industry is no exception.

Apart from making transactions secure, Blockchain has a wide scope of implementations in the industry. Blockchain for aviation is capable of easing many functions like flight operations, monitoring, maintenance and repair overhaul etc. When compared to the blockchain, traditional technologies are ineffective when applied to these areas as they lack the elements of reliability, transparency, and protection which are offered by Blockchain.

Blockchain- Concept introduction

Blockchain is a digital ledger that stores digital records of information in a decentralized manner. These records can are used to contain financial as well as any other valuable information. The property of being decentralized and immutable makes blockchain a trustworthy solution to adopt for many industries. Blockchain technology is used to create applications and smart contracts that make system functioning smooth and easy.

Introduced in the year 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain offers a sequence of records, known as blocks, in order to store information that is secured by the process of cryptography. The use of cryptography in Blockchain makes it resilient to outside attacks and modification of information.

How will Blockchain help the Aviation Industry

Blockchain for aviation industry holds many capabilities for applications. Due to its capability of being decentralized, blockchain’s feature of storing information on a digital ledger makes it popular among airline companies. This shared ledger can be utilized by the MRO teams and OEMs for storing flight records, maintenance statuses, and other data.

Moreover, the blockchain technology can also be used for registration of components. For example, data entries such as serial code, date of manufacturing as well as the number of spare parts available for any specific component can be stored on the blockchain. In case of requirement of any part, the technical staff can simply look up to the information stored on the blockchain quickly and take necessary steps for repairing and/or replacement. In addition to this, other data including but not limited to booking, payments, airports, immigration, hotels, etc can also be stored on the blockchain.

Meaning that blockchain can store all the information relating to any modification, repair or change in an airplane. This allows all the people in the network to access the information with ease. This is one of the most distinguishing factors that make the application of blockchain inevitable in the aviation industry.

Blockchain use-cases in the aviation industry

  1. Identity Management- Identities of individuals can be forged and used to accomplish fraudulent and terrorist activities. Blockchain solves this problem by validating identities with the help of biometrics. Once an identity is validated and stored on a blockchain, it is almost impossible to make changes to it as the network is highly protected and decentralized. This would also result in eliminating the use of paper passports and human-errors in the process of checking.
  2. Ticketing through tokenization- Currently, airplane tickets are either paper-based or electronic passes. With the implementation of Blockchain, the need for using paper tickets can be fully eliminated and the e-tickets can be tokenized through smart contracts. Tokenized tickets can have their own set of business logic and terms associated with them such as the process of selling tickets and their usage in the value chain in real time efficiently and securely. This will also allow people to purchase tickets from different partners globally.
  3. Security- Privacy of information is crucial for industries as many people place their trust by sharing their personal details for better functioning of the systems. Passenger records, as well as crew information of airlines, need to be kept secure as any mishap can lead to dangerous outcomes and misuse of identities. Blockchain technology along with a security wrapper creates a safe medium to share this data reliably through authorities.
  4. Loyalty Points- Loyalty points and schemes when tokenized through blockchain can provide immediate value to the users as it would be possible to use them instantly in real-time. Moreover, these loyalty points can be used more broadly through a partner community. Points replacing the role of currency will allow travelers to save time and make payments with better ease.
  5. Maintenance- Maintenance logs keep regulating between manufacturers, traders, service providers, and airlines. These take up a lot of time and are prone to errors if entries go wrong at any point. Blockchain technology can remove the need for complex databases and paper binders and enable airlines to manage a single record of provenance that would be instantly available to all the authorized people. With this, maintenance events could be set priorly and this information would be available on the aircraft maintenance record which will save time, improve maintenance and ensure safety.

Other than these, the blockchain technology can be applied to other use cases as well including Airport Collaborative Decision Making, flight entertainment, passenger compensations, planning etc. Blockchain holds the potential to become a disruptive force that can transform the aviation industry. With reducing costs, increasing security, simplifying processes and many other undefined use-cases; blockchain for aviation can make a huge difference in the industry.

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