Use of blockchain to track aircraft parts could save the industry an estimated US$3.5bn*
Staffordshire UK – 04 FEB 2020
Key industry partners announced today the launch of the MRO Blockchain Alliance, the air transport’s first industry-wide investigation into the use of blockchain to track, trace and record aircraft parts.
The new alliance comprises leading organisations covering every aspect of the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) chain, from part manufacture and repairs to logistics and smart contracts. Members currently include Bolloré Logistics, Cathay Pacific, FLYdocs, HAECO Group, Ramco Systems, SITA, and Willis Lease Finance Corporation, supported by Clyde & Co. The alliance itself was first mooted in 2019 at a HAECO Group event with the aim of bringing the various stakeholders together to set a global standard around the use of blockchain to trace parts.
André Fischer, CEO at FLYdocs said:
“As one of the founding members of the MRO Blockchain Alliance, this initiative fits in perfectly with our core strategy of becoming the Industry Partner of Choice. As a global software company, forming such a strategic cooperation with leading industry players will also be a key growth strategy for FLYdocs, as it provides us and all the stakeholders with accelerated access to consistent, shared and protected data anonymously presented on a common platform.”
In early 2019, FLYdocs alongside Willis Lease Finance Corporation played a pivotal role in spearheading a pilot programme for the development of a blockchain-powered aviation records management platform. The pilot programme sparked huge conversations within the aviation industry and at MRO Americas. This lead to a workable approach for collaboration with development partners which included merging with other cutting-edge blockchain initiatives within the industry.
In the coming months, the alliance will launch a proof of concept to demonstrate the use of blockchain to digitally track and record the movements and maintenance history of parts across a wide number of players. These include airlines, lessors, original engine manufacturers (OEMs) such as engine producers, logistics suppliers, and maintenance providers.
This tracking information will be vital to managing a complex logistics value chain that can span several stakeholders over the lifetime of each individual part. Currently, there is no global database, incomplete data sharing, and only partial digitalisation. The alliance believes that the use of blockchain will simplify and speed up parts tracking while enabling the secure sharing of information between industry stakeholders.
PwC* estimates that the use of blockchain could increase aerospace industry revenue by as much as 4%, or US$40 billion, while cutting MRO costs globally by around 5% or US$3.5 billion*. Savings will be derived from secure document storage, ensuring confidentiality and data privacy, improved insights on repair time and inventory, automated workflows and more efficient record reconciliation.
The alliance will use blockchain to record and track two separate strands of information for each aircraft part: a digital thread and a digital passport. The digital thread provides the real-time status, chain of custody and back-to-birth track and trace of the part over time. The digital passport – like a human passport – provides the indisputable identity of a part and contains other vital data such as certification of airworthiness to prove ownership.
Each year, the MRO industry processes 25 billion parts, while adding three billion new parts. There are 20,000 suppliers, covering 144,000 flights every day for an overall industry market representing around $100 billion every year.
The alliance will spend the next six months in the planning phase, with the aim of going live with the first proof of concept in the second quarter of 2020. The MRO Blockchain Alliance is a key element of SITA’s Global Blockchain Alliance, a wider SITA-led forum that is focused on the development of key blockchain-based applications for potential use in the air transport industry, including MRO, passenger identity and flight data.
** Information first published in Data for the life of the aircraft, published April 2019, PWC
– ENDS –
FLYdocs is a global solutions company helping the Aviation Industry to enhance fleet airworthiness, protect asset value, and to be transition-ready at the push of a button.
The FLYdocs’ team, with their unrivalled real-world expertise, help our clients to improve processes and drive time and cost efficiencies through digital aircraft records management. They are empowered by the FLYdocs® platform, a centralised online system, which provides internal and authorised third parties with instant access to millions of approved aircraft records for compliance verification.
FLYdocs® transforms complex unstructured data into industry standard formats; and through integration with existing ERP/M&E systems, it automates and streamlines record builds, to provide our clients with the right information exactly when they need it, resulting in compliance on demand, simplified end-of-lease transfers and real-time asset management.
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