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16 December, 2020 - 22:24 By Tony Quested

Etihad Airways becomes first airline to join DARTeC project

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has joined the £65 million Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC), due to open next year at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire.

Etihad is the first airline to join the DARTeC consortium which has been working closely together for the last four years to deliver the world-leading research facility. Etihad brings expertise in sustainability, operational efficiency, safety and improved passenger experience along with real-world operational capability to the project.

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.

Professor Graham Braithwaite, project lead and director of transport systems at Cranfield University, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Etihad to the DARTeC project, with construction of our building now nearing completion at Cranfield’s global research airport. 

“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. We look forward to working together to deliver the innovation required to enable the industry to ‘build back better’ from COVID-19.” 

Etihad Airways joins Cambridge-based holographic radar specialist Aveillant, Blue Bear Systems Research, Boeing, BOXARR, the Connected Places Catapult, Cranfield University, Inmarsat, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the IVHM Centre, Saab, the Satellite Applications Catapult and Thales in the consortium which has also received co-investment support from Research England. 

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