Blockchain applications in the aviation industry is still very new. Nevertheless, around 59 percent of airline operators are pouring investment into this technology. Many have tests or pilot programs in place already. Going by SITA’s 2018 report, that is an increase of 12% compared to 2017. Blockchain technology in aviation is being looked upon as a tool that could revolutionize the airline industry. Presently, operators depend on third parties to share and store customer and operation information.
For example, information like sales and customer data, luggage data, reconciliation are saved in silos without inter-communication abilities. Aviation blockchain infrastructure can perform better and eliminate this dependence. It can help lessen airline operators’ dependence on third parties and allow the least system maintenance, real-time data sharing, and quicker programmed transaction processing. There are various areas in the airline industry where blockchain breakthroughs are changing the face of the sector.
There are several contact points involved in traveling starting from booking to arrival in the airline sector. That includes the banks and card issuers, government and travel agencies, and the airline itself. Every contact point gathers and saves information in siloes, which causes information exchange to be irregular while making airlines susceptible to errors. The use of blockchain technology in aviation improves the sharing of information and reconciliation through the storage of every traveling information on its decentralized digital ledger. This way the data is constantly updated and accessible in real-time.
Another way airlines can benefit from blockchain technology is through ticket tokenization moving away from electronic and paper-based tickets.
Luggage Tracking and Cargo Services
Airlines have little control over cargo logistics. Most of the parties handling the cargo logistics for airlines usually have their blend of programmed and manual processes. These processes are non-standardized, and they serve as a weak link between airlines and intermediaries on the supply chain.
The use of aviation blockchain infrastructure helps monitor every stage of the baggage or cargo route, starting from the point of origin to the last destination. All the process is handled by the airline through the use of a unique code. Changes made in the cargo process can easily be monitored and identified as well as updated on the blockchain. The decentralized nature of the blockchain helps prevent network congestion as a result of data synchronization. As the blockchain, depend less on the network bandwidth during synchronization.
Given that data is stored in separate databases, the sharing of information can be in a way incoherent in the airline sector. For example, your smartphone could remind you about your flight schedule, only for you to see an hour’s delay on the departure board. In the end, the airline could delay the flight for a day more.
Blockchain provides a real-time and accurate representation of information. Banking on the smart travel record concept, the flight data is made available in real-time and any change in flight schedule is shared with all concerned bodies at a go. This prevents or lessens the misinterpretation of information and the spreading of inaccurate information by storing all flight information in a single database. Organizations like NASA are investigating the use of blockchain concerning security and privacy of flight information.