The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has
approved all Airbus A330 models for ETOPS (Extended-Range
Operations for two-engined aircraft) "beyond 180 minutes".
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 Mid-Indian Ocean.
Operators flying on existing routes will
benefit from the new regulation, since it will allow them to fly
more directly and eco-efficiently. Some estimates show a fuel
saving potential of up to 10% for some long range routes
(with consequent reductions in CO2 emissions).
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.
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