Digital Aviation Record System (DARS)

Helping the aviation sector undergo digital transformation away from paper-based and disconnected systems.

Project Overview

Updated April 23, 2024

The Problem

The global aviation industry is struggling as a result of the longstanding COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, the sector needs to accelerate digital transformation to reduce costs and operate more efficiently. A recent industry survey revealed that digital transformation is the number one priority for Canadian airlines. Moreover, PWC estimated digital tools and processes could improve aircraft maintenance efficiencies by $3.5 billion annually.

Systems used today to manage and record aircraft maintenance are either paper-based or operated using software systems that are disconnected with inconsistent data standardization and quality. Consequently, many processes are time consuming, requiring high amounts of manual data entry and manual data transfer between systems. It’s estimated that better systems and digital processes could improve airline maintenance productivity by up to 25 percent.


How We Are Solving It

Led by TrustFlight, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, Boeing, and RaceRocks, the Digital Aircraft Record System (DARS) consortium aims to streamline processes and increase productivity with a digital platform that leverages blockchain technology.

The objective is for DARS to be the world’s first industry-wide, web-based maintenance record platform – replacing paper records for an aircraft with a digital alternative that offers greater insight and reduces manual work. A core part of the project involves the creation of digital workflow applications to provide efficiency improvements and a digital data platform for storing maintenance records throughout the lifecycle of an aircraft.

The project also intends to create about 40 highly skilled software and aviation data jobs in the first year and hundreds of other new related positions over two to four years.

Digital aerospace is an opportunity for Canada to take the lead, transforming the aviation industry nationally and then globally. In addition to creating a competitive advantage for existing airlines, DARS has the potential to spawn a diverse ecosystem of startups – leveraging the data and infrastructure created with its digital solution.

The Result

This project developed a comprehensive system to manage aircraft engines known as the Digital Engine Log (DEL), which eliminates the need for paper records, reduces storage costs, and makes it easier to manage and retrieve records. Additionally, it helps identify potential issues with the engine before they become major problems by providing the yield remaining, saving costs associated with repairs and downtime. It further helps in reducing the paper reporting to maintain compliance with regulations and standards, ensuring that all maintenance and inspection records are accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible.

The DARS platform was a proof of concept built for the ability to read aircraft utilization data from TechLog (trips) and leverages Blockchain and Smart Contract technology (HyperLedger Fabric) to store engine utilization data. The Smart Contract automatically generates a basic monthly engine lease invoice based on the previous month’s utilization and the contract’s terms and conditions. This helps prevent invoicing errors incurred during transactions between aircraft lessor and lesse.

RaceRocks is looking forward to piloting use of their cutting-edge Fleet Management Tool in an operational environment in collaboration with their partners. Through DIGITAL, RaceRocks developed innovative decision-making software designed for airframes and engines, with a focus on optimizing maintenance planning. With its intuitive visualizations, the tool is poised to enhance decision-making in the aviation industry by increasing asset availability and reducing maintenance costs.

Project Lead

  • TrustFlight 1

Project Partners

  • RaceRocks3D 1
  • boeing@2x e1633458798269
  • ubc@2x e1632684904109

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