A 16-page report issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation on April 15 believes blockchain technology can help deliver an operational framework for the commercial drone industry, as it can ensure security and provide for identity management as well as providing a supporting role in aircraft traffic management, drone conflict management, and flight authorization.
Along with artificial intelligence, blockchain is seen as a way to make drones “more secure and easier to regulate and monitor,” the report stated, helping address cybersecurity concerns during flights over people and property, interference with the operation of commercial aircraft, plus other address privacy considerations.
“Blockchain can provide security by ensuring confidential and secure communications [as] encrypted blockchain identifiers enable flexibility in establishing trust models across different devices,” the report noted. “For example, a blockchain-based repository for package delivery could log information about the operation – such as time, location, resources, and delivery date – and make the data accessible to authorized users.”
In a separate report issued April 16, aerospace and aviation insurance provider Global Aerospace noted that the commercial drone industry has started to find a sense of “equilibrium,” with becoming more regular and dependable as evidenced by the higher number of drone insurance policies renewals in 2019 versus 2018.
While in 2018 only 63 percent of drone insurance policies were renewed, that jumped to 76 percent in 2019, according to the report. “This is positive news, suggesting that there is commercial opportunity for small drones,” it noted.
That said, this evidence of “sustainability” comes a full three years after regulations designed to provide the basis for a flourishing industry were implemented – evidence that also has yet to be corroborated with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.