ETOPS regulations govern the design and operation of twin-engined
aircraft on routes which contain a point further than one hourís
fliying time at the one-engine inoperative speed. Airbus twin-engined
experience started in 1974 with the A300B4, pre-dating the first
ETOPS rules by more than a decade. Today, all wide-bodied Airbus
twins (A300-600, A310 and A330) are type-certificated to 180
minutes and all A320 Family aircraft to 120 minutes.
AIRBUS POSITION ON 207 MINUTES
Airbus believes that the policy of extending ETOPS maximum
diversion times to 207 minutes for specified airlines for North
Pacific operations is inappropriate until such time as
international agreement is reached on applicable standards.
Areas of concern:
Typical application of the 207-minute authority will be in
winter, when ETOPS tracks will take twin-engined aircraft to the
north of the Pacific region, in the vicinity of the most remote
airfields, where any diversion would probably occur in bad
weather conditions and where ground facilities are minimal.
In granting the 207-minute authority, the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration has presented no explanation of how safety would
What does Airbus propose?
Airbus believes that ETOPS should be formalised in regulations
rather than administered through ad hoc policy letters and
Airbus believes that ETOPS regulations should be driven by
safety and that a public review is necessary of the risk
management models used.
Airbus believes that ETOPS rules should be harmonised with
international rules, rather than imposed by only the FAA for a
select group of airlines.
Airbus supports the creation of an industry and government
working group to review 207-minute operations.
WHAT IS LROPS?
Long-Range Operations is a newly proposed regulatory concept
which addresses all aircraft, irrespective of the number of
engines. Airbus would like LROPS to embrace flight length,
diversion times, and airport weather and equipment. The rules
criteria should cover systems design, maintenance and operations
practice. Airbus would like to see diversion airfields
recategorised as extreme, demanding and benign, depending upon