The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has just granted ATR, the European manufacturer of turboprop aircraft, “ETOPS 120 minutes” certification of its new ‘-600’ series ATR aircraft. This ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Performance Standards) certification means that the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 versions can now fly with one engine, as far as 120 flight minutes from any airport at which they can land. “ETOPS 120” thus allows aircraft to provide direct links between airports located at maximum distances equaling four flight hours (two hours maximum flight time from the departure airport plus two hours maximum flight time to the closest airport where to land safely).
The ATR 42 and ATR 72 are the only regional turboprop aircraft to hold this 120-minutes certification, which is very important for air networks, such as in French Polynesia or Siberia, where the distances between the two closest airports can be up to 2,000 kilometers. This “ETOPS 120 minutes” certification enables to establish more direct flight plans between departure points and the final destination, with considerable reduction in journey time, fuel consumption and gas emissions.