Tuesday, November 2018
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Exclusive with AeroChain founder Anthony Shook
Full Article 5 minutes read

Exclusive with AeroChain founder Anthony Shook

To date, 645 blockchain-based ventures have launched Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2018. The wave of companies saturating the ever-growing blockchain and cryptocurrency field forces more than a few raised eyebrows from skeptics. Although not every new organization is equal regarding the validity or potential market value, there are a few that have a shot of living up to the hype of revolutionizing–or at least progressing their respective industries.

AeroChain is a blockchain project poised to disrupt the aviation industry’s outdated data processes through implementation of a decentralized aviation data protocol facilitated on the blockchain.

Aviation stakeholders have long maintained their data in silos, which makes it difficult for the vast range of players and organizations–from pilots to plane manufacturers–to work together. The data stakes within the aviation industry are high. Entities must consider public safety and military compliance implications with every new initiative. Because of this, there has been industry-wide hesitation regarding data-sharing out of fear of data exposure.

AeroChain is keeping data secure through cryptography, math, and physics. Data, including black box data, is never revealed and queries are designed in such a way that data cannot be reverse engineered which solves data exposure issues.  With this breakthrough made by AeroChain, the aviation industry can safely connect without worry.

To better understand the industry’s need for decentralization, as well as the nuances of the protocol, I chatted with AeroChain founder Anthony Shook. Shook is a former pilot with over 12 years of flying experience; he recognized a dire need to adopt blockchain technology to rectify the operational and data inefficiencies that have plagued the aviation industry for decades.

What motivated you to develop a blockchain-based solution for aviation data?

I was working in technology and was exposed to blockchain about two years ago; I realized it could be a vital tool to integrate with other technologies.  Since I have been a pilot for 12 years, it was apparent that aviation needed some help revitalizing current processes.

Why is a token key to fueling a decentralized record-keeping platform for this industry?

Tokens help with account reconciliation. A key component of AeroChain is fair compensation for data contributions.  Tokens make this compensation model possible.  We know that major stakeholders might not use a token, so we will provide an autoconversion through AeroChain so they can use/ receive their preferred currency.  AeroChain could use another token or fiat currency, like USD or Bitcoin, but we don’t want to place a significant accounting burden on the company.  A native token helps to seamlessly and automatically reconcile accounts.

What do airline manufacturers, pilots, and corporate airline companies stand to gain from participating on AeroChain’s platform and utilizing its proprietary token?

Access to data at fair rates and compensation for the data they create.  It is time that everyone can contribute and receive value from aviation ecosystem data.  With increased data transparency and accessibility, pilots can tell that a plane is airworthy and can subsequently streamline maintenance when it isn’t; this saves them time and saves the airline money. For private aviation, verified and accessible data helps them catch up with the technological advancements major airlines have made, as well as provide a streamlined service for their staff and customers.

As we advance sensor technology and the development of the Internet of Things, we will aggregate even more crucial airline data. But with this increase in data comes the question of data ownership and usage. When put into AeroChain’s black boxes, everyone can use it, and the owner of the data takes a small fee for using the data.  If the information is never stolen or monetized unfairly, then there is no need for substantial fees.

Why is it essential to track pilot hours?

All record keeping is essential in aviation, but pilots need to make sure they are “current,” which means they have met the recent flying requirements within a predetermined span of time. Essentially, pilots cannot fly without having flown the same kind of plane recently, but maintaining records of these hours has never been a streamlined process.

Hours are also used to mark experience, so early in a pilot’s career, they are essential for certification and type ratings–the rating to fly a specific plane.  If you fly Boeing 737s, you can’t just hop in a Boeing 757 and fly it; you would need a type rating specifically for the 757.  By publicly tracking and storing pilot hours on AeroChain’s protocol, the questions of experience and validity diminish.

Shook and the entire AeroChain team have significant plans to develop an array of blockchain-based applications to increase all industry operational systems, including parts tracking, predictive maintenance and scheduling, and aircraft financing and crowdfunding.

When it comes to blockchain’s potential to improve the aviation industry, the sky’s the limit.

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