AirTanker has received its extended range operations accreditation [ETOPS 180] from the UK Civil Aviation Authority [28th June]. The approval provides greater flexibility and efficiency when flying long distance routes, such as those across to North America, and makes flights across the South Atlantic possible.
The approval was granted following the implementation and successful review of enhanced procedures in the maintenance and flight crew operations. For flight crew, this also includes additional training in the classroom and simulator, as well as, a check on-board Voyager.
Iain Cullen, Director of Flight Operations for AirTanker Services said: “The approval assures crew and passengers the same high level of safety when three hours [180 minutes] away from a suitable diversion airport as it would within one hour. It also means shorter flight times as we will be able to take more direct routes and reduced fuel consumption, saving money for the UK MOD.”
This clearance is part of AirTanker’s preparations to start the Falkland Island air bridge for the UK MOD from the autumn of 2013.
The current clearance is for the aircraft flying on the civilian register and it is expected that the RAF will gain ETOPS clearance in line with the military aviation authority before the end of the year .