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Emirates Joins UAE-Led Consortium ‘Air-CRAFT’ for Advancements in Sustainable Aviation Fuels

Eight founding entities, including Emirates, have launched the groundbreaking “Air-CRAFT” initiative – the UAE Centre for Renewable and Advanced Fuel Technologies for Aviation. 

This research consortium, announced during the 3rd ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) in Dubai, aims to develop, produce, and scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technologies.

Air-CRAFT is a unique collaborative effort bringing together entities across the aviation value chain, including industrial policy makers, aviation regulators, fuel producers, academia, researchers, aircraft and powerplant manufacturers, and airline operators. 

Supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the consortium aligns with the UAE’s commitment to reaching net zero by 2050 and supports the aviation industry’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Hanan Balalaa, Senior Vice President, New Energies, ADNOC, emphasized the need for collaboration and innovation to address emissions, stating that ADNOC is already working with customers to transition to new energies. 

The collaboration, named Air-CRAFT, will focus on accelerating the development of sustainable aviation fuel technologies to fast-track the decarbonization of the aviation sector.

Emirates, a key player in the initiative, views Air-CRAFT as a platform to translate the UAE’s National SAF Roadmap into reality. Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior VP for International Affairs at Emirates Airline, highlighted the carrier’s commitment to contributing to the deployment of SAF and expressed pride in being one of the launch entities.

The collaboration will explore research topics such as environmental impact assessments, feedstock and process optimization, and techno-economic assessments. Air-CRAFT also plans to establish links with other academic and research institutions nationally and internationally.

The U.S. government supports Air-CRAFT’s connection to the intergovernmental US-UAE ‘Partnership to Accelerate Transition to Clean Energy’ (PACE) agreement. The consortium’s industrial and institutional partners will provide market demand, expertise, and technology to support research into alternative fuels for the aviation sector.

Brian Moran, Vice President, Global Sustainability Policy and Partnerships at Boeing, highlighted the central role of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in achieving the industry’s net-zero commitment. Boeing is honored to work with Air-CRAFT to catalyze SAF innovation in the UAE and beyond.

The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure views Air-CRAFT as a significant step toward a greener aviation future, aligning with the country’s vision of sustainability and environmental stewardship. The collaboration invites local and international entities to join, with advanced discussions already underway with key global players.

Air-CRAFT addresses the critical need for scaling SAF production and is part of the UAE’s comprehensive efforts to decarbonize its economy. The consortium’s commitment to advancing sustainable aviation fuels aligns with the principles outlined in the National SAF Roadmap, contributing to the UAE’s broader goal of becoming a regional hub for alternative aviation fuels.

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