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Boeing supports TrustFlight aircraft maintenance project using blockchain

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Today TrustFlight announced a new digital aircraft maintenance platform in collaboration with Boeing, Canada’s RaceRocks, and the University of British Columbia (UBC). The university will provide its blockchain expertise for the project.

The Digital Aircraft Record System (DARS) will be developed in Canada, with funding and support from the Canadian Digital Technology Supercluster.

There are already several blockchain solutions in the sector that aim to address two business issues in particular. Firstly to ensure aircraft parts are not counterfeit. And secondly to verify that the maintenance of the parts is legally compliant in such a heavily regulated industry.

“Most systems that manage and record aircraft maintenance are either paper-based or operator specific software solutions that are often unable to communicate with one another, meaning data has to be input and transferred manually,” said Karl Steeves, CEO at TrustFlight. 

“We knew there was a better way to work, concluding that a consolidated digital platform like DARS could improve airline maintenance productivity and efficiency by up to 25 per cent, potentially saving the industry $3.5 billion a year.”

The company has deep software experience in the aviation sector, particularly for digital workflow.

“As we continue to pursue digital-first solutions across Boeing, innovations like DARS help airlines and operators reduce costs and operate more efficiently,” said Charles Sullivan, President, Boeing Canada Operations.

It remains to be seen whether DARS will integrate with similar existing networks, as there are already several aircraft maintenance blockchain projects. 

In 2019 Honeywell launched its GoDirect Trade resale platform to digitize documents and use blockchain to verify the authenticity of parts. It had more than $1 billion worth of Boeing parts on the platform in the early days.

GE Aviation built a blockchain solution to target aviation OEMs, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) network, as well as airlines and lessors. 

In early 2020, airline industry body SITA announced a consortium, the MRO Blockchain Alliance to track, trace and record aircraft parts.

One of TrustFlight’s partners is RaceRocks which is active in the Canadian defense sector. And there are several defense blockchain aircraft initiatives.

For example, Authenticiti partnered with Capgemini for a blockchain solution with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) to provide audit trails for parts supplied to the government. However, this is just one of several blockchain solutions targeting defense.