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Another Day, Another Fighter Plane

F15 in Flight

This week I once again heard the unmistakable roar of an F15 over our aviation community - followed by the whoosh of the Coast Guard helicopter - both signalling another airspace violation. While a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) bust is sadly a common (daily?!?) event in US Airspace, its only with the presidential TFR over Mar-A-Lago that these have come to our reasonably isolated community on a recurring basis - a community at the outer edge of the restricted airspace ring.

This event got me wondering - having just been asked about the use of blockchain to secure ground to air communications earlier in the week - could we use blockchain to record and update aircraft location to either prove or disprove an air-space bust? Or keep an airliner from being accidentally shot down? Or hijacked and lost? A protected record that could not easily be altered after the fact might be just the thing to adjudicate incidents - while not being real time enough to endanger aircraft in flight. No more they encroached on our airspace and we didn't know they were civilian excuses!

We already have apps and in flight avionics that warn pilots when approaching TFRs - adding blockchain bread crumbs would be straightforward - but should it be mandated? With the advent of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) we have the last piece of the puzzle in place to identify and warn aircraft in flight - but perhaps a record independent of the aircraft operator and of the agencies tasked with enforcement would add a level of fairness and permanence to the process?

What are your thoughts?