What does blockchain means ?
It can be termed as a decentralized, distributed ledger which allows data/information to be shared and recorded by a committee/network. One major characteristic of blockchain is that members on the network have a fully transparent view of the information found therein. There should be a consensus reached among the members of a particular committee/network to edit and information in a Blockchain.
What makes blockchain innovative is that all transactions can be accessed by the entire network which allows members to see the history of every transaction that has ever been recorded within the network. Thus, this may be understood to be a decentralized and a safer platform for the collection and versatile use of data/information, the access to which is granted to all the members of the committee/network.
Blockchain & Aviation
With the institution of blockchain software into the aviation atmosphere, it has lead ways to new vistas of opportunities in the sphere of transparency with regard to maintenance, flight data security and passenger information which will ultimately help in increasing efficiency and accuracy levels for airport as well as for airlines.
Following are some examples one can easily relate to:
- Verification of Passengers: The details of passengers which may be in any form such as biometrics, already saved data in profiles of airports and airlines, travel documents, tickets, boarding passes, etc. can be stored on the blockchain network and can be accessed by any user at any given point of time thus making passenger flow smooth and seamless.
- Luggage and Cargo Tracking: Use of Blockchain creates a unique ID for every transaction to ensure reliable and immutable tracking of the location and status of passengers baggage and cargo. As these assets change custody from the moment of deposit the data in the network keeps updating itself for real-time information. Thus creating transparency and smooth tracking of the baggage and cargo.
- Ticket Booking: The use of smart blockchain based software allows the automatized application of a smart ticketing to be used by passengers to purchase tickets. This method makes manual ticket issuance superfluous, which in turn increases levels of efficiency and accuracy.
- Aircraft Maintenance: Today much of the information critical to keeping an aircraft in flight is collected manually, an expensive and time-consuming process. The data showing a plane’s history and condition are spread across up to 40 systems, in the hands of multiple parties who may be competitors reluctant to share data. Mercenary resellers take advantage of airlines and MROs because there is no central clearinghouse of aircraft components. But after the implementation of Blockchain technology the level of transparency has been reached which expedites the process to make it effectively efficient by giving required access to required stakeholders.
- Loyalty Programs: Many airlines have frequent flyer programs (FFPs) that allow airlines customers to accumulate points which can then be redeemed for air travel. Member of loyalty programs that travel with a partner airline may want to have their points or miles reconciled at their customer account which can be a time-consuming and error prone process. The use of blockchain has a possibility to streamline, the earning, spending, accounting and reconciliation of the points gained through the use of smart contracts in order to minimize risk of errors and improve customer satisfaction. Even the Payment at airports and airline can be made seamless with the use of this technology.
Blockchain has tremendous potential to simplify complex processes involved in todays highly competitive environment when it comes to aviation. If this the technology is exercised to its optimum capability for purposes of data collection, data analysis and interpretation, security etc. the stakeholders can gain competitive advantage over the others and lead to overall growth of the industry.