View Full Version : ETOPS Rules & Long/New Flight Routes

8th Mar 2011, 21:26

Few years ago FAA released new ETOPS rules. May be also other organizations like JAA, ICAO…etc released new ETOPS rules (before or after FAA).

1) I am wondering if these new ETOPS rules affected/are affecting long/new flight routes for twin or 3-4 engines aircraft.

2) What’s the maximum diversion time for ETOPS flights according to the recent ETOPS rules? What are the factors/criteria that determine the diversion time?

3) Are the ETOPS fuel reserves (especially after considering engine failure) affecting the operating cost of twin aircraft or 3-4 engines aircraft on long/new flight routes (Polar, Artic, Pacific, and High Mountains…)?

4) Are the ETOPS fuel reserves (especially after considering engine failures and/or depressurization) affecting the operating cost of twin aircraft or 3-4 engines aircraft on long/new flight routes (polar, pacific, high mountains…etc)? Especially if we think about longer diversion time for twin and 2 engines failure for 3-4 engines aircraft if flying over high mountains (like Himalayan mountains, although I am not sure if you have to consider 2 engines failure when using a 3-4 engines aircraft).

I guess airlines are required to provide and implement “passenger recovery plan” on alternate airports with inclement weather in case of diversion.
5) Are the “passenger recovering plan” and the ETOPS fuel reserves retarding the opening of new and direct flight routes? OR

6) Is insufficient engine reliability (or even engine technology) and systems redundancy (including human errors) retarding the opening of new and direct flight routes?

Please provide details and explanations instead of saying: if airlines don’t make money, they will not use such long/new flight routes…etc. Thank you.

Feedback appreciated.

Turbine D
9th Mar 2011, 19:12

Most of your questions are answered in the FAA document itself except for those that may be established by a particular airline/operator in meeting the requirements.


Turbine D

10th Mar 2011, 04:06

We (EK) operate 777s using up to the maximum 207min ETOPS, so I'll attempt to answer you questions.

1) For twins, defiantly. We operate Polar routes when going DXB- US West Coast that would be impossible without 207min ETOPS.

2) I believe 207 is the longest currently in use. I did read that Boeing want to certify they 787 to longer (329?). If that came to pass, I don't know if similar certifications might become retroactively available for earlier types.

3&4) There is rarely any problem with ETOPS fuel reserves. Typically, a flight goes from one populous center (in our case the ME) to another (USA), passing through remote regions necessitating ETOPS. As the aircraft is obviously carrying fuel to complete the flight, normal fuel loading easily covers the extra requirements to cover the 1D, 2D and 1E diversion requirements during the ETOPS sector. ETOPs fuel would only be a factor where the ETOPs sector is near the end on the intended route.

5) Yes those plans are in place, I am not aware of it causing any restriction to growth.

6) No. Modern engines and systems are incredibly reliable.

You seem to be a little stuck on ETOPs fuel reserves. They are a small and, as I've explained, rarely limiting part of ETOPS. Lack of suitable airports within the 207min threshold is much more likely to effect the viability of a route (I believe it had a part in making PER-JNB non-viable for V Australia as they had to follow a non-optimum route over the Indian Ocean).

Increasing the ETOPs threshold beyond 207 would make new, more efficient routes available.

10th Mar 2011, 05:28
Hi all,

I was recently introduced to 350min ETOPS.


10th Mar 2011, 05:36

Which type and operator?

12th Mar 2011, 03:17
Not sure of lion-g's comments. Based on the book on ETOPS I read recently, understand Airbus is planning to certify the A350 to 350 min ETOPS while Boeing plans to certify the 787 to 330 minutes.
The book was published in the middle of last year so may be things have changed (A330 /B777 approved for 350 min ETOPS????)

12th Mar 2011, 04:07

Got it from a recent 350 briefing. I must say the 350 is a very impressive a/c !


11th Mar 2012, 03:03
Changi... That's Singapore Airlines territory :-)

Air New Zealand has 330min with B777, saw a Boeing video all about it. There's also some info here:
Boeing to Offer up to 330-Minute ETOPS on 777 - Dec 12, 2011 (http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2070)
Air New Zealand and 330-Minute ETOPS for the Boeing 777 (20 December 2011) - Featured Map - Great Circle Mapper (http://www.gcmap.com/featured/20111220)

11th Mar 2012, 04:25
Was reading how for the proposed AKL-JNB route even 330 minute ETOPS isn't feasible for lack of a suitable divert airport.

At some point might it be cheaper to find some island and build an airstrip rather than extensions of ETOPS? Or is there really no suitable land mass in the southern Indian Ocean "hole".

12th Mar 2012, 05:06
@ Ross:

The aforementioned link for the great circle mapper also explains with a slight diversion (adding 0.3% to the total distance), AKL-JNB is feasible with 330 min ETOPS.

Link (http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=AKL-JNB%2Cc%3Agrey%2CAKL-S554837E0741144-JNB%2CPER%2CRUN&MS=bm&PW=2&DU=nm&E=240&E=330&EV=410&EU=kts)