SITA launches MRO blockchain alliance with industry partners

SITA has announced the launch of the MRO Blockchain Alliance, an industry-wide investigation into the use of blockchain to efficiently manage & locate aircraft parts.

The new alliance comprises key MRO organizations from areas including part manufacture and repairs to logistics and smart contracts. To date, members include Bolloré Logistics, Cathay Pacific, FLYdocs, HAECO Group, Ramco Systems, SITA, and Willis Lease Finance Corporation, supported by Clyde & Co.

According to SITA, the alliance was first mooted in 2019 at a HAECO Group event. The aim is to set a global standard around the use of blockchain to trace parts.

The blockchain plans to launch a proof of concept to demonstrate the use of blockchain to digitally track and record the movements and maintenance history of parts for airlines, lessors, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as engine producers, logistics suppliers, and maintenance providers. Due to the fractured nature of data sharing today, the potential of blockchain is not yet able to be realised. The use of blockchain can simplify, secure and speed up parts tracking.

SITA discloses that initially 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 provides the indisputable identity of a part and contains other vital data such as certification of airworthiness to prove ownership.

Matthys Serfontein, President of Air Travel Solutions for SITA said: “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. 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.”