What is RTOW on Airbus A320? (Regulatory Takeoff Weight)

The Regulatory Takeoff Weight, or RTOW for short, is an essential parameter in the aviation industry, particularly for aircraft like the Airbus A320. RTOW refers to the maximum weight that an aircraft is allowed to have at the moment of takeoff, as specified by the regulatory authorities. It takes into account various factors, including safety, performance, and regulatory guidelines to ensure safe and efficient operations. In this article, we will delve into the details of RTOW on the Airbus A320, exploring its significance and the factors that influence it.

The Importance of Regulatory Takeoff Weight

The Regulatory Takeoff Weight plays a crucial role in the operation of any aircraft, including the Airbus A320. It is determined by considering a range of factors such as aircraft structure, engines, performance capabilities, safety regulations, and runway length. The RTOW not only ensures the safety of the aircraft, passengers, and crew but also affects the overall efficiency and performance of the aircraft during takeoff, climb, and landing.

Factors Influencing Regulatory Takeoff Weight on Airbus A320

There are several factors that influence the Regulatory Takeoff Weight of the Airbus A320. Let’s take a closer look at the most significant ones:

1. Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)

The Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) defines the maximum weight at which an aircraft is certified to take off. It includes the weight of the aircraft, fuel, passengers, cargo, and any other items on board. The MTOW of the Airbus A320 family ranges from 66,000 kg (145,505 lbs) to 78,000 kg (171,960 lbs), depending on the specific model.

2. Runway Length

The length of the runway is another crucial factor in determining the Regulatory Takeoff Weight of the Airbus A320. A longer runway allows the aircraft to accelerate and reach the required speed for takeoff more easily. If the runway is shorter, the aircraft may need to reduce its takeoff weight to ensure a safe and efficient takeoff. The specific length requirements vary based on the airport and its infrastructure.

3. Environmental Conditions

Environmental conditions such as temperature and altitude also impact the Regulatory Takeoff Weight of the Airbus A320. Higher temperatures and higher altitudes decrease the air density, affecting the lift and performance of the aircraft. In such cases, the aircraft may need to reduce its takeoff weight to compensate for the lower air density and ensure a safe takeoff and climb. Operating at maximum takeoff weight under such conditions may compromise the aircraft’s performance.


The Regulatory Takeoff Weight (RTOW) on the Airbus A320 is a critical parameter that ensures the safety, performance, and efficiency of each flight. It considers factors such as the Maximum Takeoff Weight, runway length, and environmental conditions to determine the maximum weight at which the aircraft can safely take off. By adhering to the RTOW guidelines, airlines and pilots can ensure the safe operation of the Airbus A320 and provide a comfortable experience for passengers.

For More: What is GPCU on Airbus A320? (Ground Power Control Unit)