Currently, pilots log their hours either using a paper-based system or via a company portal. These figures can easily be distorted and changed to squeeze more hours out of pilots than is legally allowed, while pilots can choose to over-report hours to take advantage of employers. Both situations are dangerous, as an overworked pilot is more prone to make risky decisions, meaning an increased chance of fatalities. Aeron is working on a blockchain app that allows pilots to log their hours and any in-flight events that occur – such as faults, near misses, or strange occurrences – and it be shared to an immutable blockchain.
Flight Plans On-Chain
Pilots will also be able to log their flight plans through the app, meaning there is a verifiable record of the flight’s intended path, this also means more accountability in the event of an accident. In the case of flights like MH17 that was shot down over Ukraine, there would be a verifiable record of who decided to take the flight path over a warzone and blame cannot be shifted onto other parties. It’s also a great tool for flight school students to use in order to help them log the hours correctly, as well as their respective routes to ensure they accrue the hours legitimately in order to pass the exams.
Airlines Already Using Blockchain
While some airlines are already using blockchain, none are using it to make flights safer – at least not yet anyway. S7 Airlines and Gazprom Neft have teamed up to put the refueling of aircraft onto a blockchain. With the help of smart contracts, millions of dollars worth of risk can be eliminated from the refueling process.
Air France-KLM has also decided to start using blockchain technology to cut costs. It has teamed up with Winding Tree to join a travel ecosystem that cuts out the middleman, meaning passengers get the cheapest prices for the flights and accommodation possible.
Aviation Could Use Blockchain
Human error accounts for over 50% of all air accidents, so removing humans from the equation would help make the industry safer. Certain processes such as passenger manifests, flight data relay, and storage, as well as aircraft maintenance history, would all benefit from being on some form of blockchain so that airlines can’t tamper with the figures to help cut costs at the cost of lives.
Aeron is pushing to make the aviation industry safer for pilots and passengers with its new app. The latest iteration is due out in a few weeks, while its new logging system should launch by spring 2019.