The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, becomes the first airline to join a digital aviation research project based at Cranfield University, United Kingdom.

The Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) consortium, in collaboration with Etihad Airways, will take on the fundamental areas of aviation safety, sustainability, operational efficiency and enhanced passenger experience. 

“Etihad has long been known as a leader for innovation in aviation and our role in the consortium reinforces our commitment to driving the industry forward through technology, and corporation,” Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said.

“As an innovative, future-focused carrier, membership of DARTeC is a natural fit for Etihad, providing a unique opportunity to expand exploration of key topics across sustainability, safety and passenger experience with industry leading partners,” Bulooki added.

Researchers working at DARTeC are already modeling ideas to reimagine what airports and airlines could look like after COVID-19 crisis is resolved. DARTeC seeks to address some of the significant challenges facing the aviation industry. For instance, the integration of drones into civilian airspace, the efficiency of airports through technological innovation and secure data communication infrastructures. 

“As an innovative airline focused on the future challenges of safety, efficiency and sustainability, there is much overlap between Etihad’s aims and the research themes of DARTeC,” Professor Graham Braithwaite, Project Lead and Director of Transport Systems at Cranfield.