Re: ETOPS for north pole routes

From:         Jean-Francois Mezei <>
Organization: Vaxination Informatique
Date:         12 Oct 96 02:35:56 
References:   1 2 3 4 5
Followups:    1 2 3 4 5
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I beleive that Resolute Bay (YRB - Long: 94 50W lat: 74 42N) is
capable of handling large jets even though its runway is gravel. It
handles 737 and 727s easily every day and I was told that a 747 has
landed there at least once.

Resolute is some 1713 km from the North Pole.

There is also Alert at the nortern tip of Ellesmere island (approx
85 00N, which brings it to about 600km from the north pole). Alert is
a military outpost closed to the public, but it does handle military
transports. Could this be considered as a "legal" emergency landing
point when considering ETOPS routes ?

Assuming a ground speed of 900kmh (560 statute miles/hour), 180minutes
gives a range of roughly 2700 km.

So, if Alert is legal, and if there is an airport some 2000km south of
the north pole on the russian (or scandinavian) side, then would ETOPS
be possible ?

Is there a clear definition of what facilities are required on the
ground to make a legal emergency landing strip for ETOPS consideration?

In the western artcic, there is Inuvik (YEV) at 133 43W 68 21N with
paved runway (again capable of handling large military transports
(that launched the cruise missile for instance), F18s and 737s. In the
southern eastern arctic, there is Iqaluit (YFB) at 68 31W 63 45N with
similar facilities.