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Would it ruffle your feathers if you learned that the pilot in the cockpit did not have a license to fly? Would you be scared of flying if you knew that plane spare parts could be from dodgy origins? Did you know that pilots may still use pen and paper to keep flight logs? What about corruption in the flight schools. These are all matters of concern, which get very little attention from flyers, media and even sometimes regulators.
Transparency, verifiability and immutability of records can all make flying a safer experience than it is today. If we look at the accident figures from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there were 1290 air accidents in 2014 just in the United States. Aeron is now in the process of raising funds for a blockchain based platform that will significantly reduce the type of accidents related to record integrity.
Flight Safety is a Real Issue Today
Flight safety poses a real concern for flyers, airlines and the aviation industry at large. candals in aviation sector are nothing new. Financial Times reported in January 2017 how Rolls-Royce had to pay a £671 million fine to regulators in US, UK and Brazil after it admitted to bribery and corruption charges levelled against it 20 years ago. The whole process of licensing is another can of worms, with the Indian news portal Rediff even doing a feature on how pilots in India procured fake licenses by bribery. They reported, “Delhi Police suspects there are touts at work here who can charge anywhere from Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) to Rs 12 lakh (Rs 1.2 million) to forge such certificates.” We wanted to get the perspective of Aeron on this and how they can help in tackling these issues.
Artem Orange, CEO of Aeron had this to say on the crucial issue of light safety, “We would like to enable a system where a pilot can maintain a transparent and verifiable record of the flying experience. This starts from the flight school and develops towards a private pilot license and further a commercial license, and appropriate renewals and hour building, with Aeron applications available to log the hours. Apart from bringing convenience to the pilot and the flight school management, we would not like to see the horrific cases of pilots taking the wheel without experience, as you can read in media such cases are frequent and recurring.”
Pilots are just one dimension of safety
At first glance it would appear that people who fly these planes are the weakest link when it comes to aviation safety, but that is not the only factor. Aeron plans to release mobile applications in such a way so that they can create an “airline in a pocket”. These apps would serve purposes of pilots, customers as well as the airline companies. As an example pilot flight logs would become verifiable due to the use of immutable blockchain technology. Credentials can be checked and verified through Aeron system. Aviation companies would gain access to verifiable data from aviation schools, airlines, service companies and aircraft operators. Students and consumers would stand to gain as they would get hold of a verified global database of aerotrips.com, an aviation portal which will integrate technology from Aeron. All of this is explained in a onepager.
However, there is also a question of going beyond and looking at deeper issues such as aircraft maintenance and spare parts. Artem remarks that this is indeed on the horizon, “While we are not yet involved with aircraft maintenance companies, we intend to approach this segment to expand the same concept: an immutable log record in blockchain. At that, aircraft owners and operators can benefit as well, once an aircraft has a transparent maintenance history in blockchain, this should increase a resale value.”
He explains further “While statutory regulations still require aircraft maintenance records to be retained in paper format and available with the aircraft, its electronic reflection with Aeron applications can bring multiple benefits, apart from log authentication: as example it makes it more convenient for the aircraft operator to order services online. The whole ecosystem can be enabled around these maintenance and flight records.”
A Crowdsale to fund safe skies
Aeron are now holding a crowdsale, after their pre sale raised over US$ 1 million. In this crowdsale Aeron (ARN) tokens are offered to investors. One hundred million ARN tokens would exist in total, out of which 60% would be released during the staged crowdsale, with 20 million tokens up for sale at this time ARN tokens are ERC20 compliant. October 23, 2017 is the last date of the sale and each token is priced at US$ 0.50. Early investors stand to gain as they would receive a bonus, for which they can visit the Aeron website.
Aeron are utilising this crowdsale to diversify their investor base and encourage word of mouth promotion of their products and services the worldover. This will help in making the skies a safer place. Investors will not only have the satisfaction of contributing to safety but also stand to gain by getting benefits from transactions that happen in the Aeron ecosystem such as subscription fee and transaction-based fee for log entries, commission on paid services, commission on intermediation and client introductions, as a currency for purchase of aviation services and for flight school related services. ARN tokens are liquid and will be listed on exchanges post the crowdsale, with Aeron already forging a partnership with Binance, a major cryptocurrency exchange.
Aeron Promoters Know Safety is No. 1 priority
Artem Orange, CEO of Aeron is himself an avid aviation enthusiast. He reveals, “I am an aviation enthusiast since childhood and always enjoyed flying. I was lucky to meet my team members, who are licensed pilots and we could share the joy of flying small aircrafts. Due to work load I could not yet obtain a pilot license of my own, though it’s my target for the next year.”
His team members include CTO, Nadezhda Barkanova, a qualified air traffic management engineer who specialises in the production of aeronautical databases, flight crew training as well as flight simulators. Nadezhda’s experience spans more than 11 years. Konstantin Gertman, with a background in consulting and market research that spans 14 years. He also has experience in financial businesses. He is the co-founder of aerotrips.com. Konstantin is an EASA certified pilot since 2013. These individuals, with a background in aviation know the various dimensions that they need to work on to take out the creases in the fabric of safety. A whitepaper has been released by Aeron that lays down their plans for the future and how they will scale the platform and the project to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Hopefully, Aeron will help more people discover the joys of flying and make it invulnerable by the time they take to the skies.