Blockchain technology is enabling diverse industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and education to optimize processes, increase transparency, and strengthen the security of the business network. Now, it is all set to simplify and enhance various processes of the aviation sector with solutions and applications like smart contracts. Apart from securing information exchange, blockchain can address several other challenges existing within the aviation industry's operations. If implemented appropriately, it can enhance operations like customer data management, flight activities, aircraft maintenance, and more.
So, let's take a look at how Blockchain technology improves the aviation industry.
Air travelers often get to know that a plane ticket for a given flight does not entitle them to board that flight. Airline agencies knowingly overbook flights, assuming that some passengers may not show up. Contrarily, when more passengers show up for a flight than the available seats, they shift passengers to another flight against their will. It results in decreased customer loyalty and experience.
Here, blockchain technology and smart contracts can efficiently alleviate this risk. Using blockchain tokenized ticketing and smart contracts, airlines can manage the overbooking in a better manner to ensure that no one suffers from a chaotic situation.
After facing situations like overbooking or flight delays, passengers often want to cancel their trip entirely. However, expect certain circumstances, airlines do not issue ticket refunds. Even if users buy travel insurance to avail refunds in case of flight delays or cancellation, the process is time-consuming and laborious. Obtaining a refund usually requires passengers to collect documentation of the problem, submit a claim, and wait for the refund. This inconvenient process creates more inconvenience for passengers.
However, blockchain smart contracts can make this process simpler by providing a better, automated refund solution.
Using a blockchain solution, insurance companies can track end-to-end information of events like public flight records, flight delays, and ticket cancellations, and eventually, issue automated refunds.
Misplaced luggage is another frequent woe for air travelers, as well as airlines. Here, blockchain can register luggage details and its movement from the beginning to the end on a shared, distributed digital ledger. Then, it can become much easier to track a misplaced bag or suitcase if it ends up on the wrong flight. The storage of this information will be immutable, leaving an audit trail of unalterable record behind for luggage tracking.
Airlines deal in huge chunks of data related to passengers and flights. While regulatory authorities like the Federal Aviation Administration require some portion of data, most of it fails to find systematic storage. Blockchain can provide a solution to this challenge. Record keeping on the blockchain can prevent frauds, improve safety, and ensure transparency of the data. Storing information like ticketing as well as the layout of a plane’s cabin on a blockchain can also increase transparency and efficiency.
Blockchain technology can augment bio-metrics and mobile devices to perform identity verification passengers more securely and efficiently. By replacing the verification of physical IDs required at multiple checkpoints with unique IDs, it can enable a flawless verification process for passengers.
Blockchain technology can potentially improve the aviation supply chain processes. The shared database can enable stakeholders to track quality and ensure compliance of products and components from manufacturing to the implementation.
Also Read: Solving Supply Chain Challenges with Hyperledger Sawtooth
Blockchain Technology is already addressing challenges related to security and privacy in cyberspace. In the aviation industry, it can assist companies to regularize and govern the use of drones appropriately. It can securely store passenger records, as well as crew information of airlines to prevent any mishap or misuse of identities.
Also Read: Reinforcing Cybersecurity with Applications of Blockchain Technology
Currently, airplane tickets are either available in electronic or paper-based form. However, a blockchain based solution can completely abolish the need for paper tickets. Instead, it can provide a mechanism to propose tokenization of e-tickets with smart contracts.
Blockchain database will store all the information, and provide a unique identifier to retrieve it. Using this unique ID saved on the permissioned blockchain solution, stakeholders can access the required data and obtain necessary information.
While public blockchain solution facilitates anyone to join the network, permissioned network enables only authorized entities to perform specific functions. For instance, in the Aircraft Maintenance Record System, only permissioned authorities like MRO service providers, airlines, auditor, and manufacturers can store or retrieve the required information.
Smart Contract containing the coded business rules will specify what information a stakeholder can access. For instance, it will display only the airplane’s health score to customers, and not the information about the aircraft's components.
Public blockchain solution will enable any participant to access the information available in the network. It will benefit travel agencies as they can retrieve the status of every aircraft from the public blockchain. Travelers can check the status of the flight they want to book using the mobile app or website of travel agencies.
Blockchain can hugely improve the aviation industry’s processes and functions by making information transparent and traceable to different stakeholders.
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