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GCAA ,Tawazun Council and Thales sign MoU to establish an ATM Innovation Lab in the UAE





MOU provides for establishing an Air Traffic Management (ATM) Innovation Lab in the UAE to codevelop a comprehensive Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM).

This initiative will provide state-of-the-art ATFM solutions to keep the UAE skies safe, in a sustainable way.

This will be Thales's first of its kind ATM Innovation Lab in Middle East and the fourth in the world, fully focused on exploring the integration of new technologies in legacy ATM systems.

Dubai, 15 November 2023 -The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Tawazun Council and Thales have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for joint collaboration to develop comprehensive and state-ofthe-art Air Traffic Management (AFTM) solutions through a new joint innovation lab based in the UAE.

The Innovation Lab will support the UAE aviation sector, including Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP), airlines, and airports, by optimizing aircraft capacity (reducing congestion and delays), maximizing aircraft traffic predictive analysis, and supporting greener flight operations (aircraft CO2 emission reduction).

The MoU was signed by H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCCA, Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, CEO of Operations at Tawazun Council and Pascale Sourisse President and CEO Of Thales International on the sideline of Dubai Airshow 2023.

Under the MOU, GCAA and Thales experts will collaborate and utilize the Innovation Lab, to design and engineer Thales' ATFM solution, from the definition of the concept of operation, to the deployment of new functionalities suitable to meet the UAE operational requirements.

GCAA has been at the forefront of managing phenomenal growth in air traffic movements, which are forecasted to double by 2030 within the UAE airspace, one of the busiest in the world. This growth has been further fueled by the success of the locally based national carriers. The physical infrastructure, the aerospace system and the human resources are constantly challenged with delivering a safe and efficient service.

The agreement is a part of Thales fulfilling its obligations with the Economic Program under the Defense and Security Industry Affairs Unit at the Tawazun Council. The council will play a pivotal role in ensuring the necessary requirements are met to make this project a success and continue its development. This will enhance the sustainability of the aviation system, achieve added value for the national economy, and boost local content in the country.

H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA, Said, This collaboration marks a pivotal step in our strategy to strengthen our relationship with our stakeholders and indicates the importance of collaboration between the different UAE entities in supporting the common goals of the UAE. We are passionate to expand this collaboration further in the future to benefit the UAE and Middle East ATM stakeholders by improving airspace capacity and efficiency and reducing congestions, delays and CO2 emissions. By joining efforts with Tawazun Council and Thales, we reinforce our commitment to innovation in air traffic management. The Innovation Lab, reflects our dedication to ensuring the sustainability of the aviation system amid the expected growth of the air traffic movements in the UAE airspace, one of the busiest globally. As we navigate this growth, fostering technological advancements is key to delivering safe and efficient aviation services.

H.E. Muammar Abdulla Abushehab, CEO of Tawazun Council emphasized Tawazun Councils dedication to incorporating advanced technology and artificial intelligence in projects aligning with partners needs. He highlighted the councils commitment to advancing sustainability in the aviation sector, particularly through the (ATFM) project, the first project to be developed in the region. Abushehab underscored the projects significance in enhancing the UAEs global competitiveness and improving efficiency in aviation from strategic planning to tactical operations.

We are very pleased to sign this MoU with our strategic UAE partners, Tawazun Council and GCAA, for the development of the Innovation Lab. Implementing cutting-edge ATFM solutions will support GCAA in reducing congestion and delays at some of the world's busiest airports, not just today, but for years to come. Long-term and holistic vision is critical when it comes to the infrastructure of our countries. The lab will facilitate cross-fertilisation of ideas and expertise to have a state-of-the-art ATM infrastructure in the region. said Pascale Sourisse.

About Thales :

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies within three domains: Defence & Security, Aeronautics & Space, and Digital Identity & Security. It develops products and solutions that help make the world safer, greener and more inclusive. The Group invests close to 4 billion a year in Research & Development, particularly in key areas such as quantum technologies, Edge computing, 6G and cybersecurity. Thales has 77,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2022, the Group generated sales of 17.6 billion.


Tarek Solimane, Regional Communications Director, Middle East, Africa, Saudi Arabia and Central Asia

971 50 104 5934

Lucie Baton, Media Relations

971 50 639 4126

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