Air transport specialists SITA have formally launched an industry-wide consortium of companies, named the MRO Blockchain Alliance, who will investigate the technology to track, trace and record aircraft parts. The participating companies are involved in the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) chain for the industry.
The initiative by SITA, more formally known as Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques, include representatives from Bollore Logistics, Cathay Pacific, FLYdocs, HAECO Group, RamcoSystems, and Willis Lease Finance Corporation.
Historic and Future Cost Savings
SITA was originally founded in 1949 by eleven national airlines in order to share infrastructure costs and communication networks. They have previously introduced an aviation blockchain sandbox to evaluate blockchain advancements and this subsequently burgeoned into the Global Blockchain Alliance, a wider forum that considers the potential use of the technology in all aspects of the air industry.
Citing PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) figures, SITA estimates that blockchain could increase aerospace industry revenue overall by 4% (around US$40 billion), while specifically integrating it into an MRO chain that includes around 20,000 suppliers, may save as much as US$3.5 billion. Research suggests that such cost-savings can be gained through improved document storage and record reconciliation, automated workflows, and improved insights on repair time and inventory.
The MRO Blockchain Alliance, who are part of the Global Alliance, intend to provide the first proof of concept in the second quarter of 2020 that will show the tracking and recording of parts movement and maintenance across different companies drawn from airlines, lessors, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
The President of Air Travel Solution for SITA, Matthys Serfontein, said blockchain “…promises tremendous opportunities for streamlining the sharing and recording of information across the air transport industry.”
According to Serfontein, this is because “In an industry as interconnected as ours, the ability to share and record common data in a secure way without giving up control of that data is fundamental to driving new efficiencies in air travel. This is particularly true for the MRO sector.”