IMC Newsdesk

Honeywell digitises Aircraft Records with Blockchain

  • August 11, 2020
  • William Payne

Honeywell is aiming to simplify its parts recordkeeping and documentation by integrating aircraft record generation into its digital blockchain ledger. The company aims to provide its aerospace customers with an easier and faster way to search and retrieve scattered data through a simple user interface.

Most airlines use dozens of repair facilities, and the paperwork from each is not integrated. Additionally, airlines and operators commonly deal with lost, printed paperwork associated with a part. This paperwork, or “trace documents,” are critical to maintaining the value of a part’s worth.

Honeywell’s blockchain is designed as a secure, decentralised database crowd-sourced by all its authorised users. Each user that Honeywell allows has a copy of the database and knows its contents in real time. Instead of storing only PDF documents or a reference to the digital aircraft record, Honeywell now stores the actual form data “on chain.” This data is used to re-construct aircraft records, including records that prove the US Federal Aviation Administration has certified that aircraft parts are safe to fly. These records can be accessed by customers, and in the case where paperwork is missing, customers can simply input the part number and serial number and the user interface will retrieve the data from the blockchain and “rebuild” the missing document.

The goal of the company is not to be the only aerospace company creating unified aircraft records on chain, but rather to collaborate and be an implementation partner so others can leverage the same technology.

Adding data to the blockchain ledger does not replace regulatory authorities’ current document requirements, but rather supplements them more efficiently. Honeywell now unpacks all that parts and repair data and makes it immutable, searchable and accessible to everyone in its permissions-based ecosystem.

“Honeywell’s offering is like a search engine, but it works for anything and everything related to aircraft parts and service,” said Lisa Butters, general manager for Honeywell’s GoDirect Trade and applications owner for blockchain technologies. “Honeywell manufactures and repairs thousands of aerospace parts each day, and now all of those events, including the generated air worthiness certificates, go on chain. In aerospace, this is a game-changing technology that will simplify and transform recordkeeping for aircraft owners and airlines around the world.”

“Blockchain is unique because it’s a team sport,” said Butters. “This isn’t just about Honeywell data. In fact, this is not just about aerospace data. Whether you are in aerospace, automotive, electronics or consumer products, I envision all manufacturing OEMs and repair shops pushing quality documentation and part provenance data to the blockchain, so customers have easy access.”