One of the world's largest airlines is looking at how it can apply blockchain technology to track workflows within its aircraft maintenance systems.
Air France, according to Aviation Today, recently discussed the possibility in a webinar alongside Microsoft and Ramco Aviation, a company that develops software for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) systems that airlines use to service their aircraft.
During the session, James Kornberg, innovation director for Air France KLM's business unit, said that supply chain applications in particular are especially attractive to the airliner.
"The use case has to be realistic. The four features of blockchain are resilience, traceability, integrity and disintermediation [and] are well suited to the aviation supply chain," he said.
The question of whether Air France will start switching to wholly blockchain-based systems remains an open one, though.
As quoted by Aviation Today, Kornberg said that a major obstacle is that much of airline data isn't actually kept digitally. Until paper-based processes are modernized, blockchain wouldn't be as helpful as envisioned.
"In the aviation industry, we still have a lot of our data that is not digitalized, still a lot of analog data, the first step, and that's what we're doing at the moment – going to a fully digital solution, on all the supply chain and all the aviation data that we get," explained Kornberg.
Air France plane image via Fasttailwind/Shutterstock