SITA Investigates Use of Smart Contracts in Air Transport Industry

Air transport IT firm SITA has released a white paper detailing how airlines and airports could use smart contracts for shared control of data.

AccessTimeIconNov 9, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:08 a.m. UTC

Multinational air transport IT firm SITA has released a white paper detailing how airlines and airports could use smart contracts for shared control of data.

The paper outlines research carried out by SITA, along with British Airways and Heathrow, Geneva and Miami International airports, into smart contracts residing on a blockchain.

In its research on the applicability of the technology for the air transport industry, SITA built a private permissioned blockchain, called FlightChain, that stores flight information and uses smart contracts to judge potentially conflicting data.

The paper looks at "key lessons" learned regarding governance, system security and system performance, scalability and reliability, it says.

The research also examined the use of both public and private blockchain networks for the air transport industry. The work looked at the potential of using both ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric as its basis.

On a concluding note, the SITA paper states that, with blockchain "still early in the technology lifecycle," its "immaturity" makes it complicated to deploy across air industry networks.

However, SITA indicated it aims to add more airlines and airports to the FlightChain trial in future to get a more complete data set, and plans to identify a business model to fund its operations.

Last year SITA developed a proof-of-concept focused on digital identity in partnership with blockchain startup ShoCard, aiming to streamline the airline verification of passenger identities and facilitate real-time data flows at the airport.

Airport image via Shutterstock

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