Airbus Airliners and ACJ Receive 180-min ETOPS OK
The European Aviation Safety Agency has granted 180-minute extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval to Airbus for its A321, A320 and A319, including the Airbus Corporate Jetliner. The approval permits operators of these twinjets to operate as far as 180 minutes (at single-engine speeds) from a diversion airport. There are currently no U.S. ETOPS rules–only guidelines intended for Part 121 operators. But last year the FAA proposed ETOPS thresholds of 180 minutes for Part 135 operations and 207 minutes for Part 121 carriers (AIN, December 2003, page 1). However, lack of critical single-engine speed and distance data from manufacturers makes the FAA’s proposal to establish ETOPS thresholds for Part 135 operators unworkable, according to comments submitted by NBAA and NATA.