Giants in the aviation industry come together to study the best way to use the blockchain: the MRO Blockchain Alliance was created for this purpose. The project is led by SITA, manufacturer of the technology used by most of the world’s airlines. Together with it there are other leading companies in the MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) sector such as:
- Bolloré Logistics,
- Cathay Pacific,
- HAECO Group,
- Ramco Systems,
- Willis Lease Finance Corporation,
- Clyde & Co.
The MRO Blockchain Alliance aims to test innovations in aircraft components using blockchain technology. This could lead to a reduction in maintenance costs of 3.5 billion, equal to 5% of the total, while at the same time increasing the revenues of the entire industry by 4% or $40 billion.
In the coming months, the companies involved will launch a “proof of concept” to study the use of the blockchain for tracking, digital recording and maintenance history of aircraft components in the various stages involved, from manufacturers and logistics providers to airlines.
Nothing similar exists at present, so MRO companies are only dealing with partial data. Thanks to the blockchain, all of this data would be digitized and stored securely in a perfectly traceable form. This is the basis for reducing maintenance costs by providing clear and detailed information, with the primary aim of ensuring the safety and efficiency of operations.
SITA will manage the governance of the alliance at a global level and will be personally responsible for providing the required blockchain technology, ensuring the compliance and validation of the process with the regulatory authorities.
For the company, this is an important step forward within SITA’s Global Blockchain Alliance, the other world-leading group of which it is a member and which extends the use of the blockchain not only to MRO but also to air transport itself, which includes passenger identity and flight data.
Matthys Serfontein, President of Air Travel Solutions for SITA, said:
“This initiative is part of SITA’s ongoing exploration of blockchain, a technology that we believe promises tremendous opportunity for streamlining the sharing and recording of information across the air transport industry. In an industry as interconnected as ours, the ability to share and record common data in a secure way without giving up control of that data is fundamental to driving new efficiencies in air travel. This is particularly true for the MRO sector”.
Blockchain and air transport, the applications
The blockchain could soon prove to be a disruptive technology for air transport. Lufthansa has long since started a research programme called the Aviation Blockchain Challenge to define the best standards for the use of the technology in the industry.
Together with Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain could drastically improve aspects of passenger identity checks and air traffic management. To sum up, this would be a revolution.