How is blockchain disrupting the aviation industry today?
Is blockchain the technology the aviation industry is looking for? What can it do?
If not for the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the aviation industry would be one of the fastest-growing industries in the present time. The industry has taken a halt in its growth due to the circumstances. However, as the world recovers from the damage dealt by the virus, we can expect to see the aviation industry flourish once more, especially with the emergence of a new technology that can revolutionize the industry: Blockchain.
Blockchain technology can improve many aspects of the aviation industry. It can start new opportunities such as transparency in maintenance, reduction of flight overbooking cases, passenger information, and flight data security, which may boost the industry’s efficiency and accuracy levels.
What is Blockchain?
To understand how the aviation industry can benefit from blockchain, we need to know about blockchain technology first. Blockchain may seem complicated, but its principle is quite simple; it is a database. A database is a collection of structured information or data stored in a computer system. This information can be accessed, filtered, and manipulated by any number of users simultaneously. But what makes blockchain different from other databases?
Blockchain is like a ledger that lets a community share and record information secured by cryptographic validation algorithms. What makes blockchain unique is that members on the network can fully access all of the information in the database. Also, members can see all the transactions that have ever been recorded and their histories. Cryptographic algorithms validate the transactions made within the network via consensus, ensuring the network’s integrity and consistency.
How can blockchain be used in Aviation?
As blockchain technology provides new opportunities for managing and securing data, the aviation industry may use blockchain to its advantage. Here are some examples of how blockchain can be used in aviation.
Baggage and Cargo Tracking
Passengers’ baggage and cargo change custody as soon as they are deposited, making airlines liable for their safety. Blockchain will let them reliably track the location and status of these valuables. This enhanced transparency and visibility will allow authorities and passengers to find their belongings more easily whenever they need to.
Blockchain can also enhance the efficiency and accuracy of verifying the passengers’ identities. Identification details of passengers like required documents, tickets, or biometric data can be saved on the blockchain network. It can remove long queues for document verification, streamlining the whole airport experience. Passengers would only need a verification code, and they’re good to go.
Today, airlines store flight data on a centralized database. Thus, there are chances that the data may be lost during emergencies. Authorities may not be able to recover data when they need it the most. But blockchain technology can eliminate this risk. Airlines can store the aircraft data, as well as vital information about passengers and crew members, on the blockchain network. They can then encrypt it and save it on multiple computers where they can access the information in real-time.
Ticket overbooking was not an uncommon occurrence with airlines, which has caused hassle to many passengers before. The use of blockchain networks can solve this problem. Passengers would be able to purchase tickets through a smart ticketing system, increasing efficiency, and accuracy. This method will make manual ticket issuance unnecessary, reducing the chances of human error.
Aircraft typically change ownership a couple of times throughout their lifetime. This makes tracking and tracing information a nightmare. Blockchain can fix that by having an immutable record containing all the information regarding an aircraft’s maintenance history, saving stakeholders lots of time and resources.
Blockchain offers a lot of advantages that can significantly help the aviation industry. This technology could become an invaluable asset in only a few years. Airlines must be quick to adopt this technology to reap its benefits as soon as possible.