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Takeoff: Airports Plenty Interested in Blockchain Applications, Study Reveals

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:47 PM
Jimmy Aki
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:47 PM

A new study has shown that the blockchain technology appears to be gaining traction, and attention in the airline industry. Per reports from airline focused magazine, Airport World, data from SITA Lab has revealed that blockchain technology attracted the most research attention in the industry in 2018.

SITA , a technology research company responsible for stimulating technological revolution by collaborating with airlines, airports, and technology specialists globally—opined that distributed ledgers are more efficient and give an advantage when it comes to rendering airline services such as passenger identification, ticketing and more.

The magazine quoted Gustavo Pina, director at SITA Lab, who argued that one of the biggest obstacles preventing a “seamless passenger journey” are the “siloed processes” that they have to scale through on a regular basis.

“They act as significant speed bumps at every step of the way. By collaborating as a single industry, we can smooth that journey and blockchain is one of the technologies that have the potential to make that possible. This explains the industry’s significant interest in it,” he stated.

The study by SITA also revealed that both airlines and airports had found exciting use cases for the blockchain from the rollout of passenger tokens to frequent flyer programs (34%) and e-tickets (31%). 59% of airlines have also put in place blockchain research programs to be implemented by 2021.

To increase the research on the potentials of employing blockchain technology, SITA announced earlier in June its intention to launch  The Aviation Blockchain Sandbox. “Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all and have already significant interest in pursuing cross-industry initiatives through the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox initiative,” Pina had stated in the announcement.

However, while some airports are still sitting on the fence on adopting the technology, others have begun to employ the use of blockchain technology in their operations.

Brisbane International leads the line for the adoption of the technology, as individuals traveling to Australia can now spend various cryptocurrencies at the Brisbane International Airport. In the same vein, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport installed an ATM that lets passengers convert their euros into bitcoin or ethereum.

Dubai International airport, took it a step further last year when it announced its intention to employ a passport-free entry into the city. It signed an agreement with UK-based blockchain startup ObjectTech, who partnered with Dubai’s Immigration and Visas Department to develop a solution that combines biometric verification with blockchain technology.

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