SITA, the technology provider for the air transport industry, has developed a proven blockchain-based solution enabling the verification of an electronic personnel license (EPL) without network connectivity. Allowing offline verification in an efficient and privacy-preserving way, SITA’s contribution supports the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) adoption of an industry-wide digital standard for the use of EPLs on international flights.
After setting out to create a digital standard for the use of EPLs on international flights, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) determined that the ability to verify EPLs without network connectivity would be a necessary feature to ensure functionality across civil aviation authorities globally. SITA began working on a solution to the issue of offline license verification in 2019. Following a successful Proof of Concept in 2020 where SITA integrated its solution for offline verification into the Civil Aviation Authority of China’s EPL system, SITA has become the first industry partner to prove offline verification for pilot licenses, made possible specifically by using blockchain-based decentralized identity technology.
Having a proven example of integrating offline verification capabilities has enabled the ICAO Air Navigation Commission to issue a recommendation to move forward with developing an international standard for EPLs. In March 2022, the ICAO Council will consider adopting a new international Standard that will pave the way for EPLs to become valid licenses, with offline verification systems in place by the end of 2022, citing SITA’s solution as an example.