ETOPS [Extended Operations]


Boeing- 777

2024 note: There are no ETOPS classes currently scheduled.

Certification in ETOPS opens a realm of opportunities in aviation, amplifying your skills and career prospects. With ETOPS certification, you become an asset, enabling airlines to operate extended-range flights with confidence. It showcases your expertise in managing critical situations and ensuring safety in long-haul operations. ETOPS certification enhances your value in the industry, and for those interested in aircraft dispatcher careers, there are a few more important training courses to undergo. The team at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics is familiar with the training needed and explains what there is to know. What are ETOPS certifications, and why are they important in your new career? Our experts explain it all here. 

What Is ETOPS Training?

Our 1-day ETOPS course immediately follows the Advanced International Flight Planning course. This course is also designed to be useful for those who may want to work for an airline that operates over oceanic and desert (or other isolated) routes. This course includes (and is never limited to):

  • The 60-minute rule and the evolution of extended-range operations
  • En route Alternate Selection and Planning
  • 75-minute, 90-minute authorizations
  • 120-minute, 138-minute authorizations, rules, and procedures
  • 180-minute and 207-minute authorizations, rules, and procedures
  • 240-minute discussion
  • Equal Time Points and Critical Fuel Required
  • Route Selection and Options
  • Hands-on Plotting chart application, route revisions, and hypothetical scenarios
  • Derivation of En Route Alternate weather minimums
  • Extended Range Entry Point – location and purpose
  • ETOPS Diversion Procedures
  • Discussion and application of Maximum Diversion Time
  • Computerized ETOPS Aviation Plans: How to request the plan with emphasis on how to analyze results in conjunction with Pilot-Dispatcher weather briefings and debriefings
  • NEW FAA ETOPS Advisory Circular

ETOPS certification training originated when the FAA decided to grant permission for airlines to operate twin-engine aircraft, such as the B-757, Airbus, etc., over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans or desolate areas. The operation originally applied to two-engine airplanes flying more than 60 minutes from the nearest adequate airport but now includes three- or four-engine airplanes flying more than 180 minutes from the nearest adequate airport.

How Do I Get ETOPS Certification?

ETOPS certification plays a pivotal role in the realm of ETOPS aviation, especially for airlines aiming to operate extended flights over areas with limited diversion options. For those seeking careers as aircraft dispatchers or keeping their airline ETOPS certified, meticulous adherence to stringent safety protocols is paramount.

Airlines aspiring to be certified in ETOPS must ensure that their aircraft, crew, and operational practices align with specific criteria. This involves possessing twin-engine aircraft with demonstrated reliability over extended durations—a prerequisite often requiring comprehensive maintenance records in line with manufacturer guidelines.

Comprehensive risk assessment and mitigation strategies are integral. Airlines must present detailed plans outlining how they plan to manage potential emergencies, such as engine failures, and exhibit their ability to safely divert or continue flights in such scenarios.

The certification process for ETOPS aviation is overseen by aviation regulatory bodies like the FAA or EASA. They mandate airlines to undergo rigorous evaluations involving inspections, documentation reviews, and operational assessments to ensure compliance with established standards.

Collaboration among airlines, manufacturers, and regulatory bodies remains pivotal throughout the certification process for those striving to become aircraft dispatchers or maintain their ETOPS-certified status. Transparent communication, adherence to safety protocols, and a robust operational framework are fundamental prerequisites for achieving and maintaining ETOPS certification, underscoring safety in long-haul flight operations.

What Is the 60-Minute Rule for ETOPS?

The 60-minute rule within ETOPS rules is a fundamental aspect of ETOPS aviation safety. In Aviation ETOPS, this rule mandates that an aircraft must always remain within 60 minutes of flying time from a suitable diversion airport during extended-range flights.

This specific ETOPS rule is designed to ensure safety by guaranteeing that in the event of an emergency, such as an engine failure, the aircraft can reach a suitable alternate airport within a reasonable timeframe. It’s a critical safety measure implemented to mitigate risks associated with long-haul flights over areas where immediate landing options might be limited.

Adherence to the 60-minute ETOPS rule is a key component in the planning and execution of ETOPS flights. Airlines and flight dispatchers involved in ETOPS aviation consider this rule before meticulously mapping out routes and designating suitable alternate airports along the flight path to comply with aviation safety standards.

Understanding and strictly adhering to ETOPS rules, particularly the 60-minute ETOPS rule, is paramount for ensuring passenger safety and operational reliability in extended-range flights.

Getting Prepared for Flight Dispatcher Jobs

Embark on a journey into the heart of aviation excellence with our specialized programs! If you’re fascinated by the prospect of ETOPS aviation certification and seek insights into our offerings, we encourage you to get in touch. Our committed team stands ready to equip you with all the essential information to shape your informed decision regarding your aviation education.

Whether your inquiries revolve around the curriculum, career prospects, or the exceptional hands-on experiences we provide, we’re poised to support you. Your aviation journey commences with the right education, and at Sheffield School of Aeronautics, we’re dedicated to propelling you toward new horizons.

Feel free to reach out today with your queries. Our approachable staff is enthusiastic about steering you toward success in the thrilling realm of airline operations. Dare to transform your aviation aspirations into reality. The opportunity to attend dispatcher school online with Sheffield is here to turn your dreams into a soaring career.


Course Fees

Course Fees Tuition $300.00 [$600 for non-Sheffield graduates] – check for discounts.

Course ScheduleTestimonialsApplication FormsFAQs
Courses are scheduled throughout the year. All upcoming courses are shown below.

Sorry, there are no courses scheduled at this time.

April 6, 2018

“Excellent courses (AIFP, ETOPS, EWINS), compliment initial class perfectly. Many thanks!”


October 6, 2017

Very thorough. Great jokes!

September 28, 2017

“Brilliant instructors, first class education.”


February 14, 2014

“The AIFP, ETOPS, & EWINS courses provided additional information and understanding on the topics that I did not have (earlier). The courses were worth attending and I would recommend that others attend.”

D. Brogan

February 14, 2014

“Excellent complement after completing the (certification) course!”


February 14, 2014

“Thanks for everything. I learned so much and can’t wait to go back to work & apply all the information I got at this school! Thanks!”

C.S. (Germany)

November 9, 2013

Dear Mr Eric,
…I wanted to study flight dispatch Training Course .. to get my license  from FAA and ETOPs certification as Air Asia airlines flight operations department is giving preference to those dispatcher who are holding FAA license and especially from your school
Best Regards ,

Air Asia - airline dispatcher

October 28, 2013

“The instructor has such exceptional poise and command of the material, answered all questions thoroughly and succinctly, and provided one of the singularly exceptional learning environments I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t recommend these courses enough!

David H. Plotkin

July 9, 2013

“Super courses!! Finally I made my 1st ETOP plan!!

Keep up!!

Matteo Roder

June 10, 2013

“I am deeply impressed about the knowledge transfer in the workshops. This really helps me to make decisions independently within the working dispatch environment. Also, our instructor showed at all times a very high standard of performance. He was just great! Thank you! R.P.

Application Forms


ETOPS (Extended Operations)

  • Do all of your graduates attend the ETOPS course?

    No, approximately 30-50% typically attend the course following graduation. Some attend at a later date.

  • Do you provide a completion certificate?


  • Do all schools teach ETOPS?

    No. In fact, some of those schools that do not, will not, or can not instruct this course attempt to dismiss ETOPs or try to criticize us for doing something original. Other schools simply try to copy us. If they can’t copy us, they try to discredit training that is valuable whether you dispatch ETOPs or not early in your career. Recently we’ve been criticized by yet another dispatch-school-wannabe that is non-FAA-approved, has no permanent location, has no staff, and is one of three different spinoffs from another school which has been in business approximately 4 decades less than Sheffield.

  • Do other schools offer the same?

    We don’t know what is currently provided, if anything. No other school seems interested in advertising what they provide or don’t. We did have a graduate of another school attend our accelerated course (you can deduce why) and show us his ETOPS manual booklet. It’s under the arrow in the picture below – look close. It is sandwiched by our AIFP notebook (left) and ETOPS notebook (right).

    Then again, the only paper you may receive is the completion certificate. Just ask if you need to draw comparisons.

  • Do you provide an ETOPs manual with your course as a reference?

    Absolutely! We supply a thick manual for all our courses along with extra plotting charts, enroute charts, orientation charts, flight planning charts, weather and computer flight plan printouts.

  • I’ve talked to some airlines that claim ETOPs can be taught at the airline if I need it. Why should I take your course?

    Until the airlines (there have been many) stop calling Sheffield for the answers to ETOPS questions, you should consider learning good habits and creative thinking by attending our course. In addition, many airlines, including the former head of Operations at a large international airline told us that he personally appreciated Sheffield teaching ETOPS before the graduates enter airline training.

  • What is the duration and cost of the course?

    One day and $300, respectively.

  • Why do you charge for this course while another school claims it should be free or claim to include this same material in their full course?

    We actually have material to teach. We have a live instructor to give scenarios concerning complex situations. We have the ability to answer questions and alter our given examples with overhead slides as well as graphically planning multiple ETOPs flights on our computers. The student receives valuable feedback.

    You won’t be placed in front of a terminal to “teach yourself.” You won’t be waiting for “beeps” to move on. CBT courses are substitute courses for schools without the ability and/or manpower to be creative and instruct. Those courses SHOULD be free. You get what you pay for.

    We’d love for these misleading “free” or “included” courses to vanish, but we gladly accept GRADUATES from other schools to attend our course. I receive the emailed requests every month. They want to become more marketable. There’s a difference in knowing what ETOPS stands for and how to amend an en route alternate while your airplane is over the middle of the ocean or desert.

  • Can you give an example of a typical question that is debated within the industry?

    Let’s just say there are a lot of viewpoints concerning the application of “maximum diversion time” on a flight plan, as well as alternate minimum calculations and critical fuel assumptions. There were also recent policies written which are now under review based on questions and recommendations made by Sheffield School in 2008. These points are brought up in class to help prepare the student with how to address these issues and seek guidance at their future airline.

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  • Testimonials

    “Going to Sheffield prepared me for the real world challenges of Aircraft Dispatching. I certainly believe that the method Sheffield used is one not only for success in a real world career, but also one that prepares students to correctly dispatch aircraft.” T.Z. Sidebar TZ
    “Being that half my new hire class dropped out over the course of training, I can confidently say that Sheffield helped to prepare me for the real world.” GT – abridged testimonial – school selection matters
    “Your school has offered me an incredible advantage in the Dispatcher job market.” D.K. D. Kircher
    “As a graduate of the aircraft dispatcher program at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics…My training was intense and thorough and furnished me with the requisite skills for performing my current job as a Flight Dispatch Supervisor.” N.S. Sidebar NS
    “This school came highly recommended by multiple past students and EVEN OTHERS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS. Reputation is fantastic from multiple companies that I have worked for.” A. – September 2020
    “My experience at Sheffield and my exposure to other aircraft dispatchers that did not go to Sheffield has resulted in an awareness of the superior depth and quality of the training provided by the Sheffield instructors.” CD Sidebar CD
    “I am a month into my new job at a airline coming out of reorganization, and am helping the training department by referencing the excellent and up to date course book provided to all Sheffield grads.” RW RW
    “I entered my profession, with more knowledge and information than dispatchers who have been practicing their craft for more than ten years. Not only has Sheffield provided a top notch education, but they have also instilled in me the confidence to succeed.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ – Student Testimonial
    “Eric Morris is one of the most if not the most knowledgeable and experienced authorities on Aircraft Dispatching in the United States. He strives constantly to make the industry better.” DH sidebar DH
    “I wanted to tell you I got the job offer from Expressjet, and start next month! I think a couple others from class were hired as well. It just shows the Sheffield reputation when I see graduates from other schools complaining that they can’t get an interview – I wasn’t even back home to Minneapolis […] Dan Gustafson
    “If you want to be the best, first you need to be trained by the best!” P. Hill P.Hill – DHL
    “After receiving my certificate, I joined a class of 4 experienced dispatchers for Part 121 initial training. Without experience, my preparation at Sheffield enabled me to become active at the same time after the initial training.” PR PR
    “Their reputation of excellence amongst the industry is second to none. Sheffield School of Aeronautics should be seen as the standard of how it can be done and how it should be done. I was hired at a major airline with no dispatch experience.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is a highly recognized and respected organization throughout the airline industry. They only produce the highest quality of graduate…” P.W. Sidebar PW
    “I am a graduate of the Sheffield’s Dispatcher Program. I have been a Captain-Part 121 Airline, Certified Flight/Grnd Instructor, and FAA Designated Check Airman and Sim Instructor (Part 121). From my experience I would rate Sheffield School as outstanding in their field.” PT PT
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