Wed, May 10, 2006
Still Pending On The A318; Others Good To Go
Airbus has been in the news a lot lately, mostly for issues
involving the upcoming A350. But here's a little bit of good news
from that company... the Federal Aviation Administration has
approved the European consortium's A319, A320 and A321 airliners
for extended range twin-engine operations of up to 180 minutes.
The ETOPS certification -- which follows similar approval
granted by the European Aircraft Safety Authority (EASA) in March
2004 -- means those airliners may now operate with the FAA's
blessing on routes that are up to three hours flying time from the
An International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rule, ETOPS
defines how long a certain aircraft type is allowed to fly on only
one engine, should its second engine fail in flight.
The first Airbus aircraft to be 180-minute ETOPS certified by
the FAA -- an A319 corporate jet -- is planned to be delivered in
May to an undisclosed US customer.
In a corporate
statement, Airbus says the 180-minute ETOPS Type Design approval
recognizes the company's compliance with current US ETOPS rules,
and is a reflection on the A320 family's the significant ETOPS
experience accumulated worldwide under previous lower-time
As you may have already noticed, the A318 isn't mentioned.
Airbus is still working to get ETOPS approval for the smallest
member of the A320 family, which the company expects to receive
from both EASA and FAA by the second half of 2006.
When that happens, the entire line of Airbus single-aisle
aircraft will be ETOPS certified.
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