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SITA launches MRO Blockchain Alliance for the air transport industry

Wed, 05 Feb 2020, 05:40 am UTC

Air transport IT and communications specialist SITA announced in a press release that it has formed a new blockchain consortium with key industry partners to use blockchain to “track, trace and record aircraft parts.”

Called the MRO Blockchain Alliance, the consortium includes various organizations that are involved in the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) chain from part manufacture and repairs to logistics and smart contracts.

Members include Bolloré Logistics, Cathay Pacific, FLYdocs, HAECO Group, Ramco Systems, SITA, and Willis Lease Finance Corporation, supported by Clyde & Co. SITA said that the alliance is a key element of its Global Blockchain Alliance, a wider SITA-led initiative that is focused on the development of blockchain-based applications for potential use in the air transport industry. It launched the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox back in 2018.

“This initiative is part of SITA’s ongoing exploration of blockchain, a technology that we believe promises tremendous opportunity for streamlining the sharing and recording of information across the air transport industry," said Matthys Serfontein, President of Air Travel Solutions. "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."

Blockchain Proof of Concept (POC)

As per the details, SITA will manage the governance for the global alliance, support working groups, and deliver all required blockchain technology components in compliance with SPEC2000 and SPEC42 standards. SITA will also ensure proper alignment and validation with regulators and international standardization bodies.

According to the press release, the MRO Blockchain Alliance is planning to launch a POC to demonstrate the use of blockchain to digitally track and record the movements and maintenance history of parts across a wide number of players, including airlines, lessors, original equipment 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 digitalization. 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,” the announcement read.

The POC is expected to go live in the second quarter of this year.

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