Blockchain and Aircraft Records

Blockchain has been touted as the next significant step forward in aircraft records and airworthiness management. Many consider Blockchain in the aviation industry as still in its infancy but having a de-centralised secure record of transactions and records in a common format that is easily transferable has some immediate attractions, and I for one am very interested in the technology.

Blockchain provides a structure of “trust”, that could be leveraged when it comes to validating the information related to the continued airworthiness of an aircraft or component. Having a de-centralised, validated record of the history of a component including a full back to birth record of utilisation and any workshop visits would make the transfer of assets/components between operators much easier and faster.

Conceptually the use of a Blockchain registry could remove the requirement for paper records all together. For example, a component Form 1, a document that contains defined fields of data, providing evidence of the status of the component. It is an industry wide recognised form. But why does it need to be in this A4 paper or PDF format. The same data could be held securely on a Blockchain registry (database). When the data is needed to be referred to for whatever reason, the Blockchain registry is interrogated and the data viewed, with the confidence that the data is accurate and trustworthy.


Another example could be that of recognised status reports such as a “Last Done Next Due” report, or a “Life Limited Parts” report. Currently these are assembled, usually at End of Lease or at Mid-term Inspections and the reports are certified by someone like the Operators Quality Manager as an accurate and true representation of the status of the asset at that point in time. Again, this hard copy document or electronically signed PDF could become a dataset logged on a Blockchain registry and interrogated when required.

I suspect that we may see several “Aviation” based blockchains appear in the market, most likely followed by incremental consolidation before industry preferred aviation blockchains emerge, and are accepted by the global regulatory authorities.

It is a very interesting times and the potential for blockchain in aviation is vast. Way beyond aircraft maintenance, but throughout the industry, from smart contracts to operational certifications.

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“Block Chain Provenance” – IATA Blockchain in aviation white paper : October 2018
AirFrance KLM Blockchain use.

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