AirBus on ETOPS
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EXTENDED-TWIN OPERATIONS
HISTORY OF ETOPS

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 be maintained.

What does Airbus propose?

Airbus believes that ETOPS should be formalised in regulations rather than administered through ad hoc policy letters and advisory circulars.

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 their integrity.



 
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