SITA says it is investing in the infrastructure to accelerate industry-specific research into the viability of running multi-enterprise apps using distributed ledger technology — more commonly known as blockchain — and is looking for industry players to use the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox at no cost to them.
Barbara Dalibard, chief executive, SITA, said: “Today we are inviting air transport organisations to work together so that we can collectively see how blockchain could work across our industry. Blockchain holds many promises but exploring these in individual organisations is not the most productive. As the technology company owned by airlines, SITA is in a position to work neutrally with multiple stakeholders to explore and test multi-enterprise applications. Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all.”
According to SITA, the airline industry has a long history of sharing information between multiple stakeholders to increase efficiency but, at times, it faces difficulties when proprietary business information needs to be extracted or multiple data sources conflict.
To start, SITA is opening the FlightChain project to airlines and airports in September. FlightChain was SITA’s blockchain trial, with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport, using smart contracts for shared control of data. It stored flight information on the blockchain to provide a single source of truth.
Now SITA says it is making it easy for other airlines and airports to join this research and test FlightChain for their own use.
For the second stage of the collaboration, SITA will work with organisations that want to test smart contracts across a number of airline and airport operational use cases.
And during the third stage of the research, which is expected to start in late 2018, SITA will enable participants to run their own node, giving organisations the opportunity to become more involved and to participate in the running of the network, including becoming custodians.
“Since we published the results of the FlightChain research, many of our airline and airport customers have expressed an interest in exploring the opportunities of blockchain with us and some have already committed to the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox. We encourage airlines, airports, ground handlers, governments and other organisations with a role in the air transport industry to take advantage of this opportunity to innovate together,” Dalibard said.