In recent years a number of airlines, aircraft maintenance repair, overhaul, and other aviation companies have created research programs and announced blockchain initiatives. The use of blockchain varies from the managing of replacement of parts on in-service airplanes to purchasing flights, in fact, there is already an airline to be the first in issuing blockchain tickets. Experts in security predict that blockchain has the potential to secure multiple processes and transactions across a range of platforms in the aviation ecosystem.
Blockchain will be able to correctly record every time a part is installed or removed from an airplane. The system goes even further than this with the ability to log each part pedigree and how long the part being replaced has been in service, also the identity, location and credentials of historical data. The technology of blockchain along with Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things has been described as one-third of the “holy trinity of disruptive technology” set to revolutionize the storing and accuracy of data.
Vance Hilderman is a co-founder and CEO of AFuzion, a software systems and safety development consulting company that has trained more than 1,500 engineers on how to implement cybersecurity and software systems standards for FAA and EASA compliance. Hilderman commented:
Blockchain will provide a safe harbour for design – we’ll always be able to revert to a safe design, plus we would theoretically have the ability to track all changes and the authors of those changes.
Hilderman went on to say that blockchains user anonymity that is favoured in financial transactions would need to be made clear and visible for the broad sector of aviation. Using it in new systems for aviation would need development so that every supplier, developer, and user along the chain of aviation is identifiable along with a version and contributions.
Security architect for Curtiss Wright David Sheets predicts that future security strategies to fight cyber intrusions from quantum computers particularly in the are of encryption will be aided and based on blockchain.
As more quantum computers come online, they can potentially break asymmetric encryption, which is used for signing and verification. Blockchain is an alternate strategy that relies on hashing instead of asymmetric encryption, so it’s resistant to those quantum computer attacks that asymmetric encryption fall to.
Overall the improvement in security and logging of accurate information in the sector of aviation will benefit the industry greatly not to mention the peace of mind to aviation users who will enjoy improved relations and trust.
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