This article was written in consultation with Gediminas Ziemelis, Chairman of the Board of Avia Solutions Group (on the main photo).

Aviation has always been on the leading edge of innovation. Recently, however a new technology has been leading digital innovation – Blockchain. While still a new concept, Blockchain is already disrupting the Fintech industry and with its secure operating principles, so here’s why Blockchain is already on target to improve the Aviation industry as well.

At its core blockchain is a public ledger which allows users to add information but prevents anyone from changing previously entered data. It does this through the use of cryptography to encrypt data, hash’s to represent data blocks, and distributing the “servers” to peer-to-peer nodes.  Culminating in an immutable method of digitizing transactions.            

Blockchain will increase MRO efficiency

Maintenance on aircraft is a meticulously controlled process with no room for error. This is necessary to deliver a consistent high level of quality and ensure operational safety. Aircraft are complex, and despite standardized processes operators frequently prefer to take their aircraft to MRO’s that have experience with that aircraft. The issue therein results from an unproportioned workload between experienced maintenance crew and those with little experience. The experienced crews can have a backlog of work orders for weeks in advance while the inexperienced crew can sit with empty hangars. Distributing this workload more evenly would increase MRO efficiency while minimizing downtime. Luckily, blockchain technology has a promising solution.

Since aircraft parts are tracked by a number of different companies there can be multiple different data points to pull from for any given aircraft. Utilizing blockchain technology the data from the parts manufacturer and any previous maintenance can be accessed from a universal ledger instantly supplying a complete picture of aircraft health and history. “Thanks to the utilization of this technology any past data cannot be altered so the different parties are not required to trust each other before they share data, they just have to trust the mechanism of the decentralized consensus. Any MRO crew will have the capability to have an intimate understanding of the aircraft from macro aspects down to the individual detail of each rivet regardless if they have past experience with it.  This application of blockchain data is so promising that one of the largest digital technology companies, Accenture, is investing in it and they expect widespread adoption within two years,” says Gediminas Ziemelis, Chairman of the Board of Avia Solutions Group.

Fintech solutions for emerging aviation markets

Aviation has a special role in supporting the growth of developing countries and their infrastructures. In remote locations aircraft may be the only option available to transport people, medicine, and goods so it is paramount that aircraft stay operational for the safety of these communities. International money transfers help keep these aircraft flying. While the viability of international money usually does not cause a problem there can be delays when the request is urgent or last minute, like in the case of an emergency. When this happens the holding period banks place on money can be the difference between life and death.

“Using blockchain for micro-remittance transfers allows for transactions to be made without the holding times that exist with centralized financial institutions. This is possible because blockchain technologies reduce the need for intermediaries by securely going to peer-to-peer transfers. Applications are in development that fix the value of digital cash in real time permitting the user to hold this digital cash and transfer it when necessary while also minimizing processing fees,” explains G. Ziemelis.