Re: A question on ETOPS requirements

Date:         10 Dec 97 04:05:01 
From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1997.2793@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
robinjohnson@southcom.com.au (Robin Johnson) wrote:

> kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) wrote:
> (various things about ETOPS rules)
>
> Yes, but surely the real question is, who enforces this.  Does the
> Captain decide to declare the flight non-ETOPS because both engines
> were filled with oil from the same can, as he might have to if one of
> various specific pieces of equipment were u/s, and so have to fly by
> an indirect route? (Not easy on some routes!)
> To take the example of an airline that is running both ETOPS and
> non-ETOPS flights with the same aircraft model at the same airport,
> does someone authorise each departure and make the necessary
> procedural checks?

Airlines that fly ETOPS have very extensive operational procedures
governing their ETOPS flights.  It's not the captain's decision whether or
not to declare a flight non-ETOPS.  The flight's status is determined by
the airline's very rigorously-enforced ETOPS guidelines.  The person
responsible for releasing an ETOPS flight probably varies from airline to
airline, but at the ones at which I've filmed it's been a Dispatch
function.  Most people do not realize this, but while the airplane is
obviously an important part of the ETOPS picture, it's not the only part.
In fact, the airline's operations, maintenance, and systems monitoring
functions come under much more scrutiny than the airplanes themselves.
Simply purchasing an ETOPS airplane does not allow an airline to fly
ETOPS.

C. Marin Faure
  author, Flying A Floatplane