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Etihad first airline to join UK’s leading digital aviation research project Etihad first airline to join UK’s leading digital aviation research project

Etihad Becomes First Airline to join UK’s Leading Digital Aviation Research Project

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has joined the GBP65 million Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) consortium, due to open next year at Cranfield University in the UK.

As the first airline to join the DARTeC consortium and a leading industry innovator, Etihad’s expertise across the fundamental fields of sustainability, operational efficiency, safety and improved passenger experience will lend valuable insight and real-world operational capability to the DARTeC initiative.

 Specific topics Etihad and DARTeC will collaborate on include:

  • reducing aircraft emissions both in the air and on the ground;
  • creating safe, secure and efficient airspace;
  • better understanding of whole-life sustainability impacts of aircraft;
  • enhancing the passenger experience;
  • increasing the reliability and availability of aircraft.

 Researchers attached to DARTeC are already working with industry on projects to reimagine what airports and airlines look like post-Covid-19, and driving forward innovations in digital airspace and airport infrastructure that will help the UK reach its target of net zero carbon emissions.

 DARTeC aims to address some of the main research challenges facing the aviation industry, including:

  • the integration of drones into civilian airspace;
  • increasing the efficiency of airports through technological advances;
  • creating safe, secure shared airspace through secure data communication infrastructures;
  • increasing the reliability and availability of aircraft utilising self-sensing/aware and self-healing/repair technologies.

Game-changing technologies such as the first operational digital air traffic control tower in the UK and next-generation radar technologies on the university’s licensed airport create a unique research and development environment.