The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the Airbus A350-900 for ETOPS* (Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations) ‘beyond 180 minutes’ diversion time. This approval means that when the first FAA-affiliated operators start to take delivery of their A350s in 2017 they will be able to serve new direct non-limiting routings, compared with a standard 180 minute ETOPS diversion time. It also means that now the A350 XWB is approved by both EASA and the FAA for beyond 180 minutes ETOPS.
This FAA approval, which includes ‘ETOPS 180min’ in the basic specification, also includes provisions for up to ‘ETOPS 300min’ – corresponding to a maximum diversion distance of 2,000 nautical miles (nm) at one-engine-inoperative speed under standard atmospheric conditions. Later this year, once the type accumulates additional in-service experience, it will be granted a further provision for ‘ETOPS 370min’ from the FAA, which will extend the maximum diversion distance up to 2,500nm.
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