Part 135 Brought into ETOPS Requirements
The FAA issued a final rule on multiengine turbine airplane extended operations (ETOPS) that allows operators of commercial aircraft–now including Part 135–to fly virtually anywhere, provided the aircraft is capable of protecting passengers and flight crew during an emergency diversion of any length. The rule formalizes existing policy, industry best practices and international standards to ensure long-range flights operate safely across the north and south polar regions, the South Atlantic between South America and Africa and the southeastern South Pacific Ocean. Since aircraft occasionally divert for non-engine mechanical problems or passenger medical emergencies, the rule requires that airplane systems be able to support lengthy diversions in remote and sometimes harsh environments. The rule also carries special maintenance requirements (except for aircraft with three or more engines), equipment mandates and specific ETOPS crew training.