*ROMULUS, MI, January 20th 2010 â€“ *â€œIt is a great day for MetroAir Virtual Airlinesâ€ said MetroAirâ€™s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Matt Calsada today. During his short press conference, he announced: â€œThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted the Airbus A319 fleet of MetroAir the ETOPS-180 approvalâ€.
ETOPS stands for â€œExtended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standardsâ€, and is used by the FAA as a method permitting twin-engined commercial aircraft to fly routes that, at some points, are farther than a distance of 60 minutes’ flying time from an emergency or diversion airport with one engine inoperative which is standard for all twin-engined commercial aircraft. This rule allows twin-engined airlinersâ€”such as the Airbus A320 familyâ€”to fly long-distance routes that were previously off-limits to twin-engined aircraft. The image below shows us the possible areas of operation for any aircraft with ETOPS-180 approval in light blue, whereas the dark blue areas are still off limits.
MetroAirâ€™s ETOPS-180 approval on the Airbus A319 fleet, allows the airline to operate any of the Airbus A319 aircraft within 180 minutes (or three hours) of any acceptable diversion airfield. With this in mind it could theoretically be possible to fly to Hawaii from MetroAirâ€™s Los Angeles Ontario Hub, using any of the airlineâ€™s Airbus A319 aircraft. Neither CEO Calsada nor COO (Chief Operations Officer) Kim Gesch would comment on any specific plans to utilize the ETOPS-180 approval on the A319, Gesch said that strategic plans were being drafted as the airline acquires new A319 deliveries in the coming months.**