Flight Object Sharing Capability Using Blockchain

June 2020
Topics: Information Systems, Blockchain, Air Navigation, Data (General)
Duncan Thomson, The MITRE Corporation
Steven R. Bodie, The MITRE Corporation
Dave Bryson, The MITRE Corporation
Timothy S. Luc, The MITRE Corporation
Joel Korb, The MITRE Corporation
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This paper describes a concept and a prototype for sharing flight information using blockchain technology. Providing all stakeholders access to complete, consistent, and up-to-date information about each flight facilitates efficient aviation operations. Existing flight information exchange methods are limited; the concept of a “flight object” that provides a complete solution for all stakeholders has yet to be realized.A complete solution requires either a centrally administered data store, which is unsuitable for an international context, or a distributed ledger. Distributed ledgers are at the heart of blockchain technology, which makes this technology a good match for implementing the flight object.

The authors have proven it is possible to provide a complete flight object solution using blockchain technology by demonstrating a prototype based on Tendermint: an open-source blockchain implementation. The demonstrated solution offers additional benefits like strong integrity guarantees and role-based update permissions enforcement. Prototype performance indicates a production implementation is likely to provide sufficient speed and capacity to support global aviation operations for flight planning negotiation, as well as possible future concepts such as trajectory-based operations and international flow management. The paper’s conclusion discusses steps necessary for the flight object sharing capability to be adopted as the basis for a real-world international aviation solution.


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