Aviation Blockchain Sandbox Launched By Air Transport IT Firm SITAbr>
Air transport IT provider SITA has launched an aviation industry research project to explore the potential of blockchain technology.
SITA, owned 100% by more than 400 air transport industry members, is the communications and IT solution provider that transforms air travel through technology for airlines, at airports and on aircraft. The company’s portfolio covers everything from managed global communications and infrastructure services, to eAircraft, passenger management, baggage, self-service, airport and border management solutions. Last year, SITA developed FlightChain, a private permissioned blockchain, implemented on both ethereum and Hyperledger-Fabric, that stores flight information using a smart contract to arbitrate potentially conflicting data.
Called Aviation Blockchain Sandbox, the new project will be led and managed by SITA Lab, the company’s technology research team, and will develop in three phases. The first phase will see the opening of the FlightChain project to airlines and airports in September. In the second phase, SITA will work with organizations that wish to test smart contracts across a number of airline and airport operational use cases. During the third phase, which is expected to start in late 2018, SITA will enable participants to run their own node, which will enable organizations to participate in the running of the network, including becoming custodians.
SITA has already invited more than 100 IT executives from air transport organizations to join the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox. The plan is to work together to collectively see how blockchain could work across the air transport industry.
Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, said that blockchain holds many promises but exploring these in individual organizations is not the most productive.
“As the technology company owned by airlines, we are in a position to work neutrally with multiple stakeholders to explore and test multi-enterprise applications,” Dalibard said. “Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all. We encourage airlines, airports, ground handlers, governments and other organizations with a role in the air transport industry to take advantage of this opportunity to innovate together.”