ETOPS (Extended Twinjets Operations) describes the operation of twin-engined aircraft over a route that contains a point further than one hour’s flying time from a diversion airport at the approved one-engine inoperative cruise speed.
The ETOPS as delivered with an aircraft may be extended to enable route optimisation and associated time and fuel savings or payload increase. New routes, currently not operable may become possible. Longer diversion distance capability will also reduce dependency on less reliable diversion airports thus leading to greater schedule reliability. Reduced distance between origin and destination results in lower fuel burn (or higher payload).
An ETOPS Type Design and Reliability Approval of the aircraft, at manufacturer level and an ETOPS Operational Approval, at each operator level is required. Aircraft must be equipped with certain pre-requisittes to qualify.