Appendix B – Etops Alternate Airport

B.1 GENERAL

One of the distinguishing features of ETOPS is the concept of an ETOPS alternate airport being available to which an aeroplane can divert after a single or combination of failures which require a diversion. Whereas most two-engine aeroplanes operate in an environment where there is usually a choice of diversion airports available, the ETOPS aeroplane may have only one alternate within a range dictated by the endurance of a particular airframe system (e.g. cargo fire suppressant), or by the approved maximum diversion time for that route.

It is, therefore, important that any airports designated as an ETOPS alternate airport have the capabilities, services and facilities to safely support that particular aeroplane and that the weather conditions at the time of arrival provide a high assurance that adequate visual references are available upon arrival at decision height (DH) or minimum descent altitude (MDA) and that the surface conditions are within acceptable limits to permit the approach and landing to be safely completed with an engine and\or systems inoperative.

B.2 ADEQUATE AIRPORT

As with all other operations, an air operator desiring any route approval is required to show that it is able to satisfactorily conduct operations between each required airport over that route or route segment. Air operators are required to show that the facilities and services specified are available for their use and adequate for the proposed operation. For the purpose of this manual, in addition to meeting these criteria, those airports, which meet TCCA standards or ICAO Annex 14 and are determined to be useable by that particular aeroplane, are to be accepted as adequate airports.

B.3 ETOPS ALTERNATE AIRPORT

For the purposes of this document in order for an airport to be considered as an ETOPS alternate airport, it must have the capabilities, services and facilities necessary to be designated as an adequate airport and have weather conditions and field conditions at the time of the particular operation which provide a high assurance that an approach and landing can be safely completed with an engine and/or systems inoperative, in the event that a diversion to an ETOPS alternate airport becomes necessary. For planning purposes only, the ETOPS alternate airport weather minima are higher than the weather minima required to initiate an instrument approach.

B.4 ETOPS ALTERNATE AIRPORT WEATHER MINIMA

The following are established for flight planning and dispatch purposes in ETOPS operations:

FACILITIES AVAILABLE AT ETOPS ALTERNATE AIRPORT

CEILING

VISIBILITY

2 or more useable precision approaches each providing straight-in minima to separate suitable runways.(Two separate landing surfaces)

400 feet, or 200 feet above the lowest useable HAT, whichever is higher.

1 s.m., or 1/2 s.m. more than the lowest useable visibility limit, whichever is greater.

1 useable precision approach.

600 feet, or 300 feet above the lowest authorized HAT/HAA, whichever is higher.

2 s.m., or 1 s.m more than the lowest published landing visibility, whichever is greater.

1 useable non-precision approach.

800 feet, or 300 feet above the lowest authorized HAT/HAA, whichever is higher.

2 s.m., or 1 s.m more than the lowest published landing visibility, whichever is greater.

See the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) TP14371 GEN section for conversion factors/tables.

A particular airport may be considered an ETOPS alternate airport for flight planning and dispatch purposes for ETOPS operations if it meets the criteria of Section B.3 of this Appendix and has one of the following combinations of instrument approach capabilities and ETOPS alternate airport weather minima at the time
of the particular operation:

Note: Weather forecasts that contain the term BECMG, TEMPO or PROB may be used to determine the weather suitability of an airport as an ETOPS alternate provided that.

a) Where the conditions are forecast to improve, the forecast BECMG condition must be considered to be applicable as of the end of the BECMG time period, and these conditions must not be below the published alternate minima requirements for that aerodrome;

b) Where the conditions are forecast to deteriorate, the forecast BECMG condition must be considered to be applicable as of the start of the BECMG time period, and these conditions must not be below the published alternate minima requirements for that aerodrome;

c) The forecast TEMPO condition must not be below the published alternate minima requirements for that aerodrome; and

d) The forecast PROB condition must not be below the appropriate landing minima for that aerodrome. Where a condition is forecast as "PROB", provided the probability per cent factor is less than 40 per cent, it is not limiting. However the Pilot-In-Command and flight dispatcher are to exercise good aviation judgment in assessing the overall "PROB" conditions.

For the purpose of ETOPS, a flight is deemed to be commenced/dispatched after brake release for take-off. Thus, during the planning stage and prior to the aeroplane being dispatched, the ETOPS alternate airport must meet the criteria of Section B.4 of this Appendix. Once the flight is dispatched, and prior to the ETOPS entry point, the ETOPS alternate airport must meet the published landing minimum for the intended runway and instrument approach to be used in the event of a diversion. Once the flight has entered the ETOPS area of operation, if the forecast for the ETOPS alternate airport is revised to below the landing limits, or that the ETOPS alternate airport becomes inadequate, the flight may continue at the Pilot in Command's discretion.

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