|The Airbus A350 XWB. Photo: Airbus
[Avionics Today 10-16-2014] The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved the new Airbus A350-900 for Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations (ETOPS) “Beyond 180 minutes” diversion time. This marks the A350 XWB as the first new aircraft type to receive this level of ETOPS approval prior to Entry Into Service (EIS). Airbus expects the FAA’s respective ETOPS certification of the A350 soon.
The approval, which includes ETOPS 180min in the basic specification, also includes provisions for “ETOPS 300min” and “ETOPS 370min” depending on individual operator selection. The latter option extends the diversion distance up to an unprecedented 2,500 nautical miles (nm) — a distance that corresponds to a maximum ETOPS diversion time for the A350 of approximately 370 minutes, at one-engine-inoperative speed under standard atmospheric conditions.
A350 operators will thus be able to serve new direct non-limiting routings while operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180 minute diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter path, and also have access to more en-route diversion airports if needed.