AFI KLM E&M and SkyThread lay the foundations for partnership in the digital aviation ecosystem

AFI KLM E&M and SkyThread have collaborated on a unique and innovative solution for managing aircraft components data. The two partners are now joining forces to start deployment and enable value generation for all stakeholders.

Paris, Amstelveen April 19, 2023 Photo(s): By AFI KLM E&M

AFI KLM E&M and SkyThread, a provider of a neutral industry data network applied to aviation, announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to perpetuate their industrial and commercial partnership around the solution for 'SkyThread for Parts', to be implemented on AFI KLM E&M component services pool. The result of more than a year of collaboration based on SkyThread's blockchain and aviation data expertise combined with AFI KLM E&M's leading-edge component support know-how, this innovation aims to facilitate, accelerate, and secure the tracking of components from manufacturing to decommissioning.

Reliable data at all times

Blockchain becomes increasingly relevant to facilitate the recording of transactions and tracking assets across an ecosystem. As it is immutable, decentralized and scalable, a private blockchain overcomes the trust barrier which is the main obstacle to a seamless and controlled exchange of data belonging to heterogeneous organizations.

SkyThread for Parts is based on a private and secure blockchain technology, where users and their stakeholders can record all events related to the life of the component: certificate of origin, shipping notes, maintenance certificates, repairs, transfer to an aircraft, ownership transfer, etc. By digitizing the tracking process and eliminating human interfaces - often a source of errors - this approach allows users to benefit from reliable data, without additional costs or validation time: they can trace the history of a part, for example, or retrieve its configuration information at any time across multiple IT silos. Developed and successfully tested in its initial version for 787 component support, for which AFI KLM E&M is one of the world's major players, 'SkyThread for Parts' is designed to adapt to the needs of component market players.

Serving the whole aviation ecosystem

The blockchain solution developed for 'SkyThread for Parts' is particularly well adapted to the complexity of the aviation sector and the multiplicity of its stakeholders: airlines, OAM/OEMs, MROs, lessors, brokers, etc. This solution enables the verification of user rights at each stage. It guarantees each stakeholder the respect of the ownership of its data, with the possibility to decide at any time when, how and with whom to share it.

This project is part of the broader approach advocated by the Independent Data Consortium for Aviation, which aims to create a collaborative ecosystem to define and rule the exchange of data between industry participants. A private blockchain allows to manage permissioned members and implement such strict and specific rules for transaction validation. According to SkyThread co-founder and CEO Mark Roboff, "our solution does not replace the legacy IT systems used by airlines, MROs, and OEMs, but rather runs in cooperation with them. SkyThread for Parts resolves the inefficiencies, waste, and delays that plague commercial aviation due in large part to the challenges of manually sharing part history data between siloed systems. We are very proud to have developed this product with the unique industry expertise of AFI KLM E&M, and we look forward to deepening this collaboration".

Executive Vice President Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, Anne Brachet commented: "This partnership reflects AFI KLM E&M's long-standing commitment to innovation, especially digital innovation, for the benefit of its customers and the advancement of aviation maintenance. I am convinced that this type of collaboration is essential to deliver the efficiency and safety gains promised by data technologies to the entire aviation industry, and we are very pleased to be able to continue to explore this pioneering path with SkyThread over the coming years."

Thom Grobben, VP Engineering KLM Engineering & Maintenance added: "This agreement lays the foundation to work on important technologies that benefit the future of our aviation industry. An optimized data flow network will contribute to efficiency, transparency, and safety. Considering SkyThread's experience and knowledge in transformation and digital technology, I look forward to our collaboration with full confidence."