The president of the United Nations specialized agency for aviation has suggested that blockchain technology is set for making a huge impact on the aviation industry.

Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, speaking at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Blockchain Summit and Exhibition in Abu Dhabi claimed that with the predicted rise of global air traffic volumes, blockchain will be key.

Due to the intensification of ground, passenger, ticketing and cargo handling activities, Dr. Aliu predicted that “Blockchain has the potential to virtually exclude loss, distortion, or forgery of vital log data in all aviation sectors where certificates are issued and controlled.”

Other areas where blockchain can make an impact is on record keeping, crucial for safety within the industry, where updates of personnel licensing, aircraft maintenance, operational approvals, and cargo manifests are essential aspects of aviation. Dr. Aliu commented:

“The aviation system today relies mostly on human agents or intermediaries to assume validation activities, and so we can foresee that the integration of blockchain […] in support of a state’s aviation safety oversight system, for example, would likely require substantial adjustments to related regulations, procedures, and responsibilities.”

Another vital area where blockchain can influence systems according to the UN president would be the area of traveler identity verification.  He also added that smart contracts could be used to manage critical safety and security processes for civil aviation.

The industry has shown considerable interest in the incorporation of blockchain tech in recent years. The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is examining the potential of employing a management blockchain to enable secure, private and anonymous communication with air traffic services.

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