If an airline wants to operate a plane under ETOPS rules, they have to certify themselves (planes, maintenance and pilots) to be able to do that.
That is, it costs (significantly) more to operate a plane under ETOPS rules than it does to operate the same model without ETOPS rules.
Also you mention the north atlantic,
Take a look at HNL. There are a great number of A320 and B737 planes flying in the game between HNL and mainland USA and Canada. Both of these aircraft have a maximum ETOPS range of 180 mins as an expensive option so this could be done, however the standard plane has an ETOPS range of 120 mins which means that everything from Hawaii is off limits, as well as everything between South America and Africa.
The reason that it is an option is of course an economic one. It is expensive to take it and most operators wouldn’t need it so they opt not to have it.
If this aspect is not reflected in the game, it is an obvious explanation to the wide use of B737s and A320s on routes that in real life would need a wide body to operate profitably.
There is not ETOPS in AirlineSim since simulating it correctly would be far too difficult. We’d have to somehow determine what kind of territory a route passes (oceans, large deserts), what kind and how many diversion airports exist along the route and similar factors. Besides obviously being too complex to implement, it would also make the the game rather difficult on the player-side of things.
I do understand the challenges. However things can be simplified for the purpose of the simulation.
Type of terrain is not an issue in ETOPS, the only thing that matters is that there is always a suitable diversion airport within 60/90/120/180/240/330 minutes from the flightpath. Also as only ETOPS ranges of 120 minutes or below would be an issue in the first place, this could be limited to the first three cases.[/size][/font]
In programming terms:
if ETOPS_Range<=120 then
if do_check_for_etops(origin,destination,ETOPS_Range) = false then
Then for the purpose of the simulation, it would be sufficient to to determine the no-go areas with maybe only one airspeed that would server as a generic value for all aircraft. That way these areas would be static and could be pre-dermined so the only thing to check is that does a route fly through such a zone. If you look at A map from the Great Circle Mapper - Great Circle Mapper you would see the no-go areas are quite large (with engine out airspeed of 389 knots) and they would have an effect on many routes that are currently flown with narrow body aircraft in AS.
Or maybe an even more simplified model would be to simply list the "high level" origin destination pairs that would always require ETOPS 180 or higher. Quickly looking at the map above these would be
USA to Africa (including Canaries and Cap Verde)
Anything leaving or coming Hawaii or Galapagos Islands
Caribian to Europe
South America to Africa (with the exception of Brazil to Central Africa)
Australia to Africa
As for making things difficult for players, ETOPS is just as important a factor in designing routes in real life as range,runway lengths, curfews or traffic rights are. Just one more element.
Sorry, but it’s not that easy as you try to explain. You do not explain on how these “no-go areas” are defined. The illustration on the gcmap is also a rough painting based on coastlines and not real lifer airports. It also depends on which aircraft on which routes due to the fact that there might be emergency airports arround but not suitable to receive an aicraft with the specific weight/need in runway length. And then there is a possibility to let an aircraft fly another route which will last longer and burns a bit more fuel but then it wouldn’t be affaected by these “no-go areas” as you described. Btw. the most modern two engined aircraft have already a ETOPS 120 clearance. Nowadays we are more likely talking about 180 or even 240 ETOPS/EROPS. This all would lead to one thing - a complete confusion for players which are not aircraft nerds at all
AND … keep it simple enough that everyone can play it without a diploma in aviation-economics or aviation-laws. The AS -Team have to earn money to run this wonderfull game, … with some aviation-nerds playing you cant pay the bills.
Some people here should search for "KISS principle" on wikipedia.