IBM Blockchain Pulse Envisions A Clearer, Decentralized Sky with Blockchain for Safer Airspace


For millions of travellers across the world, ensuring that there is an underlying level of safety in the aviation industry is paramount. It's more times than not that we hear of the bad news and disasters as they related to aviation incidents.

But we are currently living through advent of innovation for the world of aviation, especially with the growing relevance of blockchain technology as a means of drastically improving safety, efficiency and transparancy within this industry.

Unlike blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the world of aviation is under the close observation of national and international directives and a wide array of regulations, many of which revolve around the end to end safety and security of passengers and parties involved in the daily activities of this industry.

While this has allowed for a great many safeguards to be put into place, this abundance of red tape has resulted in an ever increasingly complex system, one which struggles to meet the current line of directives and regulations effectively, losing it its dynamism.

In addition to these challenges, the industry has steadily become an ever more globalized system and industry, meaning that there is a mountainous pressure on companies to maintain its quality of service while improving the baseline profitability for its operators and shareholders.

The Matter With Regulation and Supply Chain – Playing Constant Catch up

One of the challenges that the aviation and air travel industries must continually contend with is the increasing volume and complexity of regulations and directives towards air travel, and those that are specifically applied to various aircrafts or their various components is a cause for serious strain both for governments and the businesses directly related to the aviation industry.

One of the other issues is a fundamental lack of historical information as it relates to a specific aircraft or component. This creates an abundance of inefficiencies and unnecessary safety risks. Another challenge is finding a way to validate and catalogue parts within a supply chain as authentic and up to certification, so as to avoid the sale and use of counterfeit and / or defective parts.

In applying blockchain technology into the world of aviation would bring with it a wealth of benefits for governmental, regulatory institutions, businesses in/directly related to the aviation industry, and a range of others.

Among a range of benefits, blockchain technology would be able to bring with it these three components with the greatest effect and speed.

  • Making the industry far more immutable and readily auditable – These are crucial elements of blockchain technology that can be brought into the industry with ease. These would effectively and greatly improve the visbility of regulatory compliance, allowing for governments, regulatory bodies and businesses to easily check in on various components or aircraft so an to ensure that they are adhering to regulatory standards.
  • This same immutability and auditability can allow for a clear trail of historical records while being readily available and transparent on the history of the aircraft and its various parts.
  • The application of smart contracts – The application of regulatory policies and directives can be easily applied to the corresponding parts and / or aircraft without any time-consuming bureaucracy and paperwork. This . can drastically improve the overall process efficiency, culminating in a remarkable increase in the underlying performance of the asset.

Blockchain Makes for an Exceptional Solution for the Aviation Industry

Through the application of blockchain technology, the range of both private and publically oriented organizations observing a remarkable boost in the kind of efficiency between government regulation and the aviation industry at large. All because of a now whittled down, transparant, immutable auditing trail, which can show clearly, whether or not planes and / or their components are in adherence to regulation.

If we were to compare this to companies making use of conventional technologies along with the more ‘traditional' approach, there are persistent risks such as being completely out of compliance, not adhereing properly to the kinds of safety requirements, state or federal regulations too late, leading to a serious cost of time and resources.

Wherever industries do not make use of blockchain technology run the risk of racking up inordinate amounts of time and effort to make up for the glaring shortcomings, as well as possible exposure of passengers to very existential risks as well.

For Accountability – Blockchain can Help Aviation go Beyond

For the likes of governmental entities and private initiatives, both must participate as important actors in the aviation industry, resulting in a real effective use case with blockchain technology.

The aviation authority, as well as aviation safety, airport as well as airspace authorities operate as governmental entities. Meanwhile, the likes of aircraft manufacturers, parts developers, maintenence entities, as well as operators of aircrafts and owners of these private entities serve as private organizations.

Ensuring the underlying safety within the aviation industry is the critical objective of governmental bodies. Making use of a decentralized, highly efficient blockchain solution and network that treverses the entirety of the industry provides a profound level of visibility and tranparency, allowing them to easily adhere to safety regulations, allowing for it to drastically improve operational efficiency across the wide range of entities and players involved.

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