Airbus A330 Is First Airliner Certified For ETOPS
By Mike Mitchell
November 14, 2009, The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved all Airbus A330 models for ETOPS (Extended-Range Operations for two-engined aircraft) "beyond 180 minutes." This award makes the A330 the first aircraft type to receive such approval, either from EASA or the FAA. The new capability will be available as a customer-selectable option which extends the diversion distance potentially up to 1,700 nm.
This distance corresponds to a maximum ETOPS diversion time for the A330 of approximately 240 minutes (at one-engine-inoperative speed under standard conditions). Operators with two-engined aircraft who choose this option will now be able to serve new routes which are presently not flown within the existing ETOPS rules (i.e. up to 180 minutes diversion time).
For the A330, examples include new routes over South Atlantic Ocean,
Mid- and South Pacific Ocean, and
The granting of this latest ETOPS extension, to around 1,700nm and 240
minutes, has been made possible in part due to the proven reliability
and robust systems of the aircraft and its engines, as demonstrated over
14 million A330 flight hours and 3.5 million flights.
ETOPS, is an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rule
permitting two-engined commercial aircraft operators to fly routes that
are up to a specified flying time from the nearest airport. Since 1995
all Airbus A330 models have been approved by EASA and FAA for ETOPS up
to 180 minutes, and with this they have since accumulated more than five
million ETOPS flight hours in more than 800,000 ETOPS flights.
Today Airbus has won more than 1,000 orders for the A330 and more than
600 are in service worldwide with more than 80 customers and operators.
The required standards for ETOPS "beyond 180 minutes" is included in the
new Revision 20 of the ETOPS "Configuration, Maintenance, Procedure and
dispatch standards" (CMP) document for ETOPS. The Aircraft Flight Manual
(AFM) supplement for ETOPS beyond 180 minutes is provided to the
operators who have purchased the "beyond 180 minutes" ETOPS option.
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