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GCAA, Etihad Airways and Thales set a collaborative framework for optimising flight operations

  • On March 8th, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Etihad Airways and Thales signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on climate impact reduction in the Emirates Flight Information Region (FIR).
  • The collaboration sits in an innovation framework designed to improve aviation’s environmental performance in the Emirates FIR by executing more often optimised operations using new Air Traffic Control - Airlines collaborative systems supported by digital tools.
  • Optimising flight operations is one of the main ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from individual flights by the commercial air transport sector.
© Thales
© Thales

The aviation industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has soared since its inception, emerging as a global leader in air connectivity. The UAE has solidified its position as a key hub in the post-pandemic landscape, reaffirming its status among the world’s foremost aviation leaders.

The air transport sector is fully aware of its impact on the environment and is committed to reducing its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and environmental sustainability is an absolute priority.

To meet this global challenge, one of the most effective ways of achieving results is to optimize flight operations to enable airspace users to choose the most efficient flight plans by following more direct routes, adjusting their flight profiles in real time, using digital tools to enable better collaboration between airspace users and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs).

Through this MOU, the GCAA, Etihad Airways and Thales will test the solutions developed by Thales as part of its "Thales Orchestrator for Eco-Friendly Trajectories" offer, enabling users to implement optimized trajectories in a simple, fast and efficient way.


His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA, said: this initiative aligns with the UAE's ongoing dedication to sustainability, and it’s in an alignment with the theme of 2024 year being the Year of Sustainability. It underscores the GCAA’s pledge to national priorities and the government's methodology, while also fulfilling our international commitments within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), particularly the recent announcement in Dubai of the Global Framework for aviation fuel, which sets an ambitious goal of reducing global aviation emissions by 5% by 2030. Al Suwaidi added: “We are confident that our cooperation with Etihad Airways and Thales will pave the way for the aviation sector towards sustainable practices and contribute significantly to the country’s development towards a sustainable future for generations to come.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer at Etihad Airways said: “Etihad is honoured to be part of this groundbreaking initiative aligning seamlessly with the UAE's commitment to this venture which epitomizes the essence of the Year of Sustainability in 2024. Working alongside the GCAA and Thales, this showcases a collective commitment to mitigating the climate impact of aviation, aligning perfectly with the UAE's visionary 2031 agenda. Etihad takes immense pride in contributing to this initiative, leveraging innovative avionics and advanced flight operations to propel the aviation industry towards a more sustainable future.”

“We are very proud to collaborate with Etihad Airways and GCAA in their ambition to mitigate the climate impact of aviation and to contribute to the UAE 2031’ vision. Our innovations in terms of avionics and flight operations are very much driven by our desire to make aviation ever more sustainable, reducing the climate impact of civil air transport.” Said Chrisitan Rivierre, VP Airspace Mobility Solutions

Thales, Media Relations Ground Transportation
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Alice Pruvot, Head of Media Relations, Aeronautics & Defense
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Lucie Baton, Media Relations
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