Aeron is a quite a unique project that is trying to use blockchain technology in the most unlikely of ways. They want to develop a solution that will improve safety in the aviation industry.
More specifically, Aeron is developing a protocol that will keep records essential aviation logs and data on the blockchain. This will be kept updated in real time and be easily accessible to all parties from pilots to ATC controllers and airlines. It will also be immutable which means no chance of tampering.
However, are these aspirations too grand and can Aeron really make headway?
In this review of Aeron we will take an in-depth look into the project by delving into its team members, technology and development. We will also analyse the long term use cases for the ARN token and whether it can ever face mass adoption.
What is the Aeron Project
Aeron was created with the goal of creating a global aviation registrar on a decentralized blockchain platform, thus bringing the benefits of blockchain technology to the aviation industry. The creators of Aeron have noted how fragmented the aviation industry has been historically, and they believe that they can fix that.
Until now it has been a challenge to find a good small aircraft charter or a good flight school. Private pilots sometimes struggle to maintain their license, and aircraft owners find it difficult to locate renters who help them unlock the value in their aircraft. By creating a global registrar Aeron will make such tasks easy. Putting all of this information on the blockchain will make it freely available to all, and will solve many problems in the aviation industry.
In the most basic sense, Aeron’s plan is to create a blockchain based database of flight schools and small aircraft rentals. The system will be global and decentralized, and will have an online portal for ease of access.
They also have plans to create a logging system, finally doing away with the outdated method of keeping everything in a physical paper logbook. That will rid pilots of worries that their flight records could become lost, damaged or destroyed since they will be immutably stored on the blockchain.
Aeron believes that aviation management systems need to be brought into the modern age, as they are currently outdated. This leads to inefficiencies that Aeron hopes to get rid of once their global database is in use throughout the aviation industry.
Not only will this improve efficiencies and record-keeping, it could actually save lives by keeping critical flight log and mechanical records in an immutable database that can be accessed by anyone at any time.
The core system of Aeron is its blockchain based, decentralized global database of flight schools and private small aircraft rentals. That platform is called the Aeron Register and it was built on the Ethereum blockchain. In addition to storing information on private small craft rentals and flight schools, the Aeron Register will also allow for the recording and storage of aircraft maintenance logs and pilot flight logs. Powering the entire platform is the token ARN.
The system has been called an “airline in a pocket” by the developers and it was designed with easy validation, reliability and integrity as primary features.
The immutable nature of blockchain storage means that once a pilot enters log information it is unable to be changed. The pilot’s flight log remains auditable, and anyone can view the entire flight log to verify that a pilot has all the flight experience he or she claims.
The Aeron Register can also be used to record aircraft maintenance logs and to track spare parts. This allows for the confirmation of the authenticity of parts, and maintenance can be audited to ensure it meets all necessary aviation industry standards.
Aeron blockchain overview. Image Source: Aeron One Pager
The Aeron Register has been built on a smart contract system that is used to store various log records. The smart contracts can also execute rental agreements and any time or cost sharing agreements between pilots and aircraft owners.
Let’s not forget the ARN token, which powers the entire Aeron Register. Anyone who wishes write access to the Aeron Register will need to use these ARN tokens to record information. The Aeron team also envisions using the ARN token in the future as a payment for small aircraft charters or flight school tuitions.
Aeron has a live, working portal up and running at aerotrips.com where it is possible to begin to get an idea of how the platform will work. This portal is already integrated with the blockchain and ARN payments are accepted. The database behind the portal has already been moved to the blockchain and is fully decentralized.
Mobile apps are available for pilots on both Android and iOS that allow flight logs to be immutably stored on the blockchain. This also means the end of bulky and heavy paper flight logs. Now pilots can have access to their flight log from any mobile device, any time, and anywhere.
The Aeron Team
The core team of Aeron is comprised of aviation engineers and enthusiasts, certified pilots, business experts and talented Solidity developers. Leading the team is CEO Artem Orange, who comes to Aeron with more than 15 years of experience in the finance and telecommunications sectors. Orange is a serial entrepreneur in the tech space, and served previously as CEO of two national cellular operators.
The CTO at Aeron is Nadezhda Barkanova, who was previously an air traffic management engineer with a dozen years of experience. She has specialties in computer based training and simulations as well as the full cycle of production aeronautical databases.
From Left: Artem Orange (CEO), Nadezhda Barkanova (CTO), Konstantin Gertman (CDO)
The CDO of Aeron is Konstantin Gertman, who has been a certified pilot since 2013. More importantly, he has more than 14 years of experience in finance, market research and consulting.
Information about other members of the Aeron core team can be found on their website.
Aeron has built a fairly large base of followers on Twitter and in the Bitcointalk forums, but the community certainly isn’t active. If you look at the subreddit, the Twitter feed and the Bitcointalk forum you’ll see that most of the activity is simply Aeron posting news items and updates about their progress. While it’s good that the team continues to update the community, the lack of any response, questions or interaction is somewhat troubling.
Despite this though, the Aeron team seems to be pretty active updating project information and statistics on another key community platform. This is on the Binance information portal where they were recently awarded the Gold Label badge.
The Binance info gold label is an award that is given to those project teams that “keep blockchain enthusiasts informed”. So, from the perspective of the individuals at Binance info, the Aeron team seems to be doing a good job of keeping their project page up do date. Binance is also the primary exchange for Aeron so it perhaps makes sense to keep their page fully updated.
The ARN Token
Aeron conducted an ICO in September and October of 2017, raising just $5.7 million of a $30 million hard cap. There was a pre-ICO from September 1 through September 19, followed by the ICO that lasted until October 31. There are 18,000,000 ARN tokens in circulation and a total supply of 20,000,000 ARN tokens.
Early investors likely aren’t very pleased as the ICO price of ARN was $0.50, but as of February 8, 2019 the ARN token is worth just $0.27 or nearly half the ICO price. It’s likely the drop can be at least partially laid at the feet of the bear market in crypto, which is over a year old.
The ARN token reached an all-time high of $8.67 on January 5, 2018, but quickly fell from that height and steadily declines throughout 2018. There was a pop higher in October 2018 when the mobile pilot’s app was launched which took the token above $0.80 briefly, but the rally lasted just several weeks before fizzling out.
As an ERC-20 token ARN can be stored in any of the ERC-20 compatible wallets.
Those interested in purchasing ARN tokens can do so on a number of exchanges, but the largest trading volume by far is on the Binance Exchange. Other possibilities include ABCC, BCEX, Bithumb and CoinMex.
If you want to get a direct indication of just how much work is being done a project, it helps to take a look at their GitHubs. Most projects will be pushing code to their repositories so the number of code commits and activity is a helpful metric.
I decided to take a look into the GitHub for Aeron to observe all of their code commits over the past year. There has not really been any activity in this repositories. The most recent of any activity related to updates to the Aeron website.
Number of Code Commits for all Aeron Repositories
The last code update to the Aeron smart contract code came in February of 2018. Of course it is possible that the team has not published these updates and they have been working on it offline. However, the community would like to see public progress of code commits.
This is especially true when you take into account the amount of work that the team wants to get done as part of their 2019 roadmap.
The Aeron team recently gave an update as to this roadmap. They listed a number of new features that they would like to include in the Aeron platform. These include the following:
- Pilot Module: This will allow pilots to analyse a particular situation in real time by monitoring their flight logs.
- Aircraft Owner Module: This module will allow the owners and operators of a particular aircraft to manage its profile. They will also be able to access the past flight logs and verify whether certain pilots can fly that plane based on their medical records and training
- Aviation Authority Module: This will offer the ruling national aviation authority access to the pilot profiles and aircraft maintanence logs. This will automatically send out a notification to the agency in question should the pilot’s certification be close to expiring
- Aerotrips Global Flight Club: This will create a framework to support a worldwide network of flight schools. The goal of this initiative is to allow for the most efficient exchange of information for aviation students across the globe
The Aeron team has not given a specific timeline for any of these platform upgrades. However, they do have a more granular breakdown of what they would like to achieve as a project for the first six months of the year.
Aeron Roadmpe for 2019 on Homepage
As you may notice, we are already in February and they are yet to release their Salesforce Integration. It will be interesting to see if the team can meet these timelines over the next few months.
Aeron has honed in on a definite problem in the aviation industry and is offering a good solution to the outdated and inefficient methods for recording and storing information. With an immutable blockchain based record keeping system the aviation industry would leap into the 21st century.
It is a bit disheartening to see the lack of community involvement, and the depressed price of the ARN token, but the Aeron team seems to be forging ahead regardless. While they have hit some of their previous milestones, development work will have to pick up substantially if they are to meet the goals in their 2019 roadmap.
The ARN token currently has a market cap that puts it in the 370th position on Coinmarketcap.com, but that could easily change with broader adoption from the aviation industry. Aeron is working on that adoption, but with aviation being an entrenched industry change could take quite some time.
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