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UN Agency ICAO Exploring Use Of Blockchain In Aviation System

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The Council President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said application of blockchain technology can be envisioned for almost all areas of the aviation system, particularly benefiting the civil aviation customers and operators.

Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu was addressing a high-level audience of government and air transport officials at the inaugural ICAO-UAE Blockchain Summit and Exhibition in Dubai.

The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world.

He noted that the technology could be of tremendous benefit to reduce the pressure on current human resources, with traffic growing at its exponential rate to create new challenges and risks to the growing number of logistical, administrative and oversight activities.

"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 processes in support of a State's aviation safety oversight system," Dr. Aliu added.

Dr. Aliu said global air traffic volumes are anticipated to double within the next 15 years. It will also see a spurt in number of aircraft and flights, which will translate to increased ground, passenger, ticketing, and cargo handling activities, and a parallel expansion of the associated tracking, documentation, approval, and certification requirements.

In the aviation system, blockchain can be implemented to manage and update complex and safety critical records, such as personnel licensing, aircraft maintenance, operational approvals, or cargo manifests.

It will also enhance both safety and security processes by virtually excluding loss, distortion, or forgery of vital log data in all aviation sectors where certificates are issued and controlled. It can ensure the integrity of the ever growing certification-based system which is integral to aviation.

"Another promising application of blockchain for aviation and governments concerns the methods we use to establish traveler identity," he noted.

He added that the integration of the technology could cause fundamental changes in the structure of today's aviation systems.

"I am looking forward to some provocative ideas and insights from our

ICAO said the organization of the summit represented a very important step in aviation's consideration of the technology, with the invited specialists expected to explore both its merits and its risks.

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