By Sohail Sawlani

What is ETOPS and Why Does it Exist?

December 4, 2022

If you are an aviation fan, you probably have heard of the term 'ETOPS' before, but what does it mean exactly? In this article, I will explain to you all about ETOPS and why it exists.

ETOPS is an acronym for Extended-range Twin-engine Operations Performance Standards. This was created so that airplanes can reach a diversion airport safely on one or no engines while over water. In 1963, in the age of the piston engine, a "60-minute rule" was made, which restricted twin-engine aircraft to a 60-minute diversion area.

As more reliable jet engines were developed, ETOPS evolved. Every aircraft nowadays are given their own ETOPS rating. For example, the aircraft with the highest ETOPS rating is the Airbus A350, with ETOPS 370. This allows the Airbus A350 to fly up to 370 minutes away from a diversion airport (99.7% of the earth's surface), as it can safely operate with one engine.

Because of the Airbus A350's ETOPS rating, it was permitted to fly the world's longest flight- from Singapore to New York, and also other flights over the North Pole, such as Finnair's Helsinki to Tokyo route.

Recently, the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 were given ETOPS type ratings, and since they are not twin-engine aircraft, the term 'ETOPS' has been renamed to EDTO- Extended Diversion Time Operations.

© 2022 Planeopedia
Written by: Sohail Sawlani
No copyright infringement intended.


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