In UAE, delivery services take on a sustainability drive. UPS has bagged a temporary license to test out electric vertical takeoff aircraft. (Image used for illustrative purposes.) Image Credit: Screengrab | WAM

Dubai: The UAE has issued a license for an electric cargo aircraft, as the aviation sector becomes the latest to push for reducing the carbon footprint.

The temporary license was for United Parcel Service (UPS), the US delivery services firm, to test electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the UAE. As per the license, UPS will be able to start its cargo operations through a new sustainable aircraft that conforms to specifications and standards ‘adopted internationally in the electric air cargo and transportation system’.

The UAE's Regulations Lab is the issuing authority. The electric aircraft license comes under RegLab’s 'mission to align regulation speed with innovation speed', through necessary laws that keep pace with the 'rapid developments and changes in various sectors such as mobility, health, 3D printing technologies, AI and more'.

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“Our country has become one of the most developed countries in the efficiency of air cargo operations," said Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority. "The application of the electric air cargo system will impact this sector positively, in accordance with the best standards of sustainability."

Aviation's sustainability drive

UAE airlines have already moved to adopt Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) more widely into their operations. But deploying electric aircraft for cargo operations does push the boundaries on lowering carbon emissions.

The newly issued license to UPS will contribute to 'reducing the carbon footprint by encouraging the adoption of clean energy and harnessing the potential of technology in redefining the future of the logistics sector and its impact on the environment and climate'.