Modesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2735 posts, RR: 6 Posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4961 times:
Can someone explain the requirements for ETOPS alternates? Are all ETOPS flights required to have BOTH alternates and ETOPS alternates? How many are necessary? Do 180 ETOPS flights need more alternates (or have different requirements) than a 120 ETOPS flight? Any info regarding this subject is appreciated. Thanks.
Rick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 52 Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4854 times:
In ETOPS, there is a difference between an adequate airfield and a suitable airfield.
An adequate airfield is appropriate for diversion on a planned ETOPS route. The assessment which goes into that ensures things like:
a) airfield equipped with the services like ATC, lighting, communications, weather reporting, navaids, safety cover, etc..;
b) at least one letdown aid must normally be available for an instrument approach
What makes an adequate airfield suitable for use as a planned alternate on an ETOPS sector is that:
at the anticipated time of use, weather reports and/or forecasts indicate that the weather conditions are very likely to be at or above the appropriate minima (either planning minima before dispatch or enroute minima once airbourne). Off the top of my head the wxr must be at or above these limits between 1hr before the earliest landing to 1hr after the latest landing might be made at each airfield.
The minima takes into account cloudbase and visibility, crosswind limits, etc.. The crew must satisfy themselves that on the day in question sufficient adequate airfields are available which are also suitable for the intended operation. This is the ultimate responsibility of the commander.
If we are on an ETOPS sector, we of course also must have a destination alternate as usual. This is a legal requirement. How many ETOPS alternates are required depends on the time limit imposed on the aircraft. With our 180 minute approved 763s we can cross the Atlantic comfortably with just two ETOPS alternates. If you were working to 120 or 138 minute rules you would need three (Keflavik comes into consideration here over the North Atlantic).
There are no additional requirements for 180 min ETOPS, generally fewer suitable alternates are needed since the aircraft is certified for flight on single engine for a greater time (= distance).
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
OO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4 Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4796 times:
Interesting question. In my company we don't need to follow ETOPS rules, but still have to remain within 120' of an alternate with a 2 engines aircraft. And this is often a problem when we have to fly from Europe to South America, the only south american airport we can use as an alternate being SBFN/Fernando de Noronha (Brazil) and this in order to remain within 120'. Needless to say that if ever this airport is not suitable the day of our flight.... we are in deep s**t .... either we have to wait or we have to take a northern route with the obvious fuel stop.
M717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 5 Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4685 times:
As part of the certification process for ETOPS approval from the FAA, your diversion airports, in addition to meeting the requirements for an ETOPS alternate, such as separate (as opposed to different) suitable runways; there must also be facilities available to keep the passengers safe and out of the elements.
And, although this wasn't part of the original question, as part of the approval process, the company must also present an acceptable passenger recovery plan from the diversion airport.