ETOPS – Extended Operations


Boeing- 777

2023 note: In the next few months, we should be scheduling our ETOPs course for later 2023.

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 which 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 & Application of Maximum Diversion Time
  • Computerized ETOPS Flight 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 training originated when the FAA decided to grant permission for the airlines to operate twin-engine aircraft, such as the B-757’s, 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.

In order for this approval to be granted to the airlines by the FAA, one of the requirements is an approved training program for the pilots, dispatchers, and other company personnel. Our first ETOPS class took place on the weekend of July 11, 1992, which made Sheffield School the first school, outside the major airlines, to offer this type of advanced aviation training.

We highly recommend attending this course while you’re in town; however, we certainly welcome back any Sheffield graduates who decide to attend this course at a later date. The class date will normally be on Wednesday following the Advanced International Flight Planning course. This is a full ETOPS course with practical applications, computer application, and a live instructor – not a half-day “point and click” CBT course with no discussion.

We can’t exchange a full day of ETOPS (primarily non-certification) material for FAA aircraft dispatcher certification instructional time; therefore, we provide ETOPS as an additional workshop class. Understandably, some students feel no need to take the ETOPS course due to their current place of employment. Some prefer to take the course at a later date. We provide an option for our graduates to take this course. You may sign up for this course with or without Advanced International Training any time.

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.

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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

    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is known worldwide for its quality training and has been recommended to me by our national airline Swiss International Airlines. Whenever I mention the name ‘Sheffield’ it rings a bell in people’s ears.” IW IW
    “now that I’ve been in an indoctrination class with students from other schools, I know I made the right choice with Sheffield.”   Kindest regards,  A.R.  All schools are created equal?! yeah…sure ;)
    “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
    Good afternoon Eric, I wanted to reach out to let you know that training at (airline) is in full swing and I couldn’t be happier that I chose Sheffield. My classmates, while very smart, definitely had subpar training and that has been very evident. I have waited to write a full scale review of the […] Attending Sheffield School benefits airline new hires in preparation for airline training
    “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
    “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
    ” I have received 4 (job) offers…many of the interviews I have gotten have been because of my “pedigree”…going to Sheffield. I am amazed at the respect your school has….I am honored to be a graduate. Thank you for all the work you ..!”  Testimonial – J. Ganci
    “If you want to be the best, first you need to be trained by the best!” P. Hill P.Hill – DHL
    “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
    “I am so glad they are like this because it made me a better dispatcher and I really appreciate their high standards. I would highly recommend Sheffield to anyone who is willing to study hard and is serious about obtaining a Dispatcher Certificate.” MC MC
    “As a graduate of Sheffield School of Aeronautics I am a firm believer that I received the most thorough and well thought out aircraft dispatcher training available. I owe my position in the industry to Sheffield School of Aeronautics.” BF Sidebar BF
    “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
    “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
    “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
    “This was an amazing class! Always interesting! It was like drinking from a fire hose, but I have never enjoyed a course more than this one. Thank you for a great 5 weeks & EWINS!” R.S. R.S. Testimonial – 5-weeks & EWINS
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