VOLUME 4 AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS
CHAPTER 10 AUTHORIZATION TO CONDUCT FLIGHT IN REDUCED VERTICAL SEPARATION MINIMUM AIRSPACE
Section 1 Safety Assurance System: Authorization to Conduct Flight in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum Airspace
4-1231 REPORTING SYSTEM(S).
A. Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS). Use PTRS
activity codes: 1411, 1413, 3411, 3413, 5411, and 5413.
B. Safety Assurance System (SAS). This section is related to
SAS Elements 3.2.4 (OP) Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Authorization,
and 4.6.1 (AW) Avionics Special Emphasis Programs.
4-1232 OBJECTIVE. This chapter provides guidance for evaluating applications
for an operator to conduct flight in airspace where RVSM is applied, issuing
operations specifications (OpSpecs), management specifications (MSpecs), or
a letter of authorization (LOA), as appropriate, and maintaining authorizations.
OpSpecs, MSpecs, and LOAs are issued using the Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS)
(see Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 2,
Automated Operations Safety System). Guidance
is also provided for standardized processing of altimetry system error reports
(ASE-R) that require the coordination of several Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) lines of business and external entities.
A. Requirements. The current regulation in Title 14 of the Code
of Federal Regulations (14 CFR)
part 91 appendix G
states the requirements an operator and the
operator’s aircraft must comply with in order for a person to operate a civil
aircraft of U.S. registry in RVSM airspace.
B. Authorization. The Administrator authorizes operators to conduct
flight in RVSM airspace. The criteria evaluated to issue this authorization
consists of two basic elements:
1) The operator’s aircraft complies with the requirements of part
91 appendix G, section 2.
2) The operator has adopted RVSM operating policies and procedures
for pilots (and, if applicable, dispatchers) acceptable to the FAA.
NOTE: Foreign commercial operators of civil aircraft of U.S. registry
must comply with subparagraphs 1) and 2). The operating policies and procedures
for pilots, and dispatchers, to include training, are the responsibility of
the State of the Operator. For additional guidance, see
Volume 12, Chapter 2, Section 3, Part
129 Part A
Operations Specifications, and
Volume 12, Chapter 2, Section 6, Part
129 Part D
Operations SpecificationsAircraft Maintenance.
1) The FAA implemented RVSM in all of the airspace in the lower
48 states, Alaska, the San Juan flight information region (FIR), Gulf of Mexico,
and Atlantic High Offshore Airspace on January 20, 2005. To safely operate in
RVSM airspace, all aircraft needed to be configured and inspected to ensure
the applicable RVSM performance requirements were complied with.
2) Originally, operators were required to develop aircraft RVSM maintenance programs
and obtain approval from the FAA. Over the last decade, RVSM operations have
become the standard for aircraft operating between flight level (FL) 290 and
410 and are no longer considered new or novel. The FAA has determined that special
emphasis RVSM maintenance programs are no longer needed. RVSM continued airworthiness
is ensured through design requirements such as the instructions for continued
airworthiness (ICA) and aircraft airworthiness requirements. Effective August
19, 2016, operators are no longer required to submit an RVSM-Approved Maintenance
Program when applying for RVSM authorization.
3) This guidance has been modified to create guidelines that
improve efficiency in the authorization process. The core of these guidelines
is the recognition of the two key elements of any RVSM authorizationan RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft (see subparagraph 4-1234C) and properly trained aircrew who have met
applicable RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots requirements (see subparagraph 4-1236B)and
a “decision matrix” (see paragraph 4-1237) that will allow the FAA to more efficiently
direct attention to only those elements that require initial review. An RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft and RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots, as defined in the above referenced paragraphs,
are also referred to in this guidance individually or together as an “RVSM Authorization
Element” or the “RVSM Authorization Elements.”
4) The guidelines set in this chapter are not designed to negate
or replace other existing policy and guidance with respect to RVSM authorizations,
but are designed to make the RVSM authorization process more efficient.
5) The guidelines set in this chapter do not negate or cause
the reevaluation of any previously issued RVSM authorizations. Instead, the
procedures should be adopted only as operators seek new or amended RVSM authorizations
subsequent to the publication of these modified guidelines.
1) Using the procedures set in paragraph 4-1237, the appropriate
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), certificate-holding district office
(CHDO), or International Field Office (IFO) manager, in coordination with Avionics/Maintenance
Airworthiness aviation safety inspectors (ASI) and Operations ASIs, should coordinate
the evaluation of the aircraft RVSM eligibility and operator’s RVSM program.
2) The principal avionics inspector (PAI) or the principal maintenance
inspector (PMI) will make the determination of whether or not the aircraft meets
the requirements of an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft.
3) The principal operations inspector (POI) will evaluate and
make the determination of whether the operator’s pilots meet the knowledge requirements of part
91 appendix G,
as defined as RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots and further described
in paragraph 4-1236.
4) The FSDO, CHDO, or IFO will issue an OpSpec, MSpec or LOA,
as appropriate, to authorize an operator to conduct flight in RVSM airspace.
NOTE: The ASI may become knowledgeable of any other existing authorizations
or specifications issued to a specific aircraft using the Operator Aircraft
Viewer Report, available in the WebOPSS.
5) As further described in paragraph 4-1237, the applicant will
obtain and submit all documents that establish the eligibility of its aircraft
as an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft. Operators are encouraged to use the Decision
Matrix in subparagraph 4-1237C. Operators should contact the PAI/PMI early in
the application process to discuss what documents may be needed to establish
eligibility of an aircraft. The applicant will submit evidence to the FAA that
he or she is capable of operating and maintaining each aircraft or aircraft
group for which he or she applies. The applicant will establish that each pilot
has adequate knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and procedures.
4-1234 AIRCRAFT ELIGIBILITY.
A. Compliance for Authorization. An aircraft may be authorized
to conduct RVSM operations if the Administrator finds that it complies with
the requirements of part
91 appendix G,
section 2. Aircraft may be produced RVSM-compliant or brought
into compliance through the application of FAA-approved Service Bulletins (SB),
Service Letters (SL), or Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) that apply to
the specific aircraft type or group and, if applicable, the specific aircraft
B. Requirements for Eligibility. The PAI or PMI makes the determination
of aircraft RVSM eligibility after reviewing substantiating documents developed
to meet the following applicable requirements:
1) In the case of an aircraft not produced under type certificate
(TC) in accordance with 14 CFR
part 21, §
meet requirements as stated in part
91 appendix G,
the PAI and the PMI ensure that the inspections and/or modifications
required to meet the specified performance have been performed and documented.
At a minimum, these items should include appropriate design modification on
the specific serial numbered aircraft, Airplane Flight Manual Supplement (AFMS)
(AFMS statement of RVSM capability), ICA, and aircraft logbook information that
reflects the STC installation and ICA compliance.
2) In the case of an aircraft produced under TC in accordance with §
meet requirements as stated in part
91 appendix G,
the PAI/PMI ensures that the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)
or aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) denotes the RVSM eligibility,
and that the appropriate Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) has
performed the initial finding of conformity with type design.
NOTE: The PAI/PMI may accomplish the determination that an aircraft
is RVSM-compliant through the examination of applicable documents and/or data.
Physical inspection of an airframe remains at the discretion of the inspector.
C. RVSM-Compliant Aircraft. Upon determination that an aircraft
is RVSM-compliant, the PAI/PMI will make the appropriate PTRS entry. See paragraph
4-1242 for a complete explanation of PTRS entry content and the associated job
aid. If (1) an applicant seeks a new authorization for the operation of an aircraft
that has been previously determined by the FAA to be an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft,
(2) the new RVSM authorization applicant provides a written statement of compliance
(SOC) documenting that no modifications have been made to the aircraft that
would change its status as an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft, and (3) no other information
is provided or comes to light that calls into question the status of the aircraft
as an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft, then the PAI/PMI should designate that aircraft
as an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft with respect to the new applicant.
NOTE: An aircraft retains its status as an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft only
so long as that aircraft continues to conform to its RVSM-approved design, and
continues to meet all applicable maintenance requirements. Therefore, an integral
component of meeting item number (2) abovea compliance statement that the status
of the aircraft has not changedshould affirmatively state that the aircraft
does in fact have the same required equipment, has met all scheduled and unscheduled
maintenance requirements, and address other items as appropriate.
4-1235 MAINTENANCE PROGRAM.
A. Application for Authorization. Effective August 19, 2016, the FAA no
longer requires operators to submit an RVSM-Approved Maintenance Program when
applying for RVSM authorization.
NOTE: Operators holding an authorization contingent on use of an RVSM-Approved
Maintenance Program must follow that program until they obtain a new or amended
B. Removal of RVSM-Approved Maintenance Program Requirement from
an Existing Authorization.
1) Operators who are not required by regulation to operate under
or to hold an approved maintenance or inspection program can apply to have their
RSVM authorization wording changed to remove the reference to an RVSM-Approved
Maintenance Program. For instructions on processing this request, see Authorization
Group I in Figure 4-87, RVSM Decision Matrix.
2) Operators who are required by rule to hold an approved maintenance
or inspection program may still be able to have RVSM-specific elements removed
if they are otherwise not required as an element of the approved maintenance
or inspection program. Operators should follow general guidance for the modification
of the maintenance or inspection program.
3) The operator should be reminded that it is still their responsibility
to ensure an aircraft is Airworthy prior to operating in RVSM airspace (part
4-1236 OPERATOR EVALUATION.
A. Person With Operational Control to Obtain RVSM Authorization.
It is the RVSM applicant’s responsibility to submit a request for RVSM authorization
in the name of the person that will have operational control of the aircraft.
It is not the responsibility of the FSDO or a specific ASI to determine
legal ownership or operational control of an aircraft with respect to an RVSM
authorization, and if any question arises with respect to these issues, then
the FSDO should refer such questions to the appropriate FAA Regional Counsel’s
Volume 3, Chapter 2, Section 2,
Responsibility for Part
of Authorization (LOA), paragraph 3-55.) The following general
information, however, may be useful in assisting the FSDO, as well as an RVSM
applicant, in determining if the appropriate party has been properly designated
as the legal operator with respect to the RVSM authorization request:
1) For commercial and fractional ownership program operations
conducted under 14 CFR parts
91 subpart K (part
the authorization applicant and holder should be the operating certificate
holder, air carrier certificate holder, or fractional ownership program manager,
in which event the authorization will be issued in the form of an appropriate
OpSpec or MSpec.
2) For noncommercial operations conducted under parts
Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) holders), the authorization
applicant and legal operator should normally be one of the following persons,
in which event the authorization will be issued in the form of an appropriate LOA:
• A registered owner of the aircraft that is operating the aircraft
incidental to its own non‑air‑transportation business or personal activity; or
• A person that has assumed operational control of the aircraft
through a lease or use agreement for that person’s operation of the aircraft
incidental to that person’s own non-air-transportation business or personal activity.
NOTE: The legal operator will generally not be an owner trustee that
is not operating the aircraft for its own business, a management company that
has not accepted a transfer of operational control from the operator, or a holding
company or bank that holds title to the aircraft solely for the purpose of leasing
or transferring operational control of the aircraft to other persons.
NOTE: It is both possible and common to have multiple operators for part
and/or 125/135 aircraft
over a short period of time and on a nonexclusive basis (for example,
multiple dry leases for the use of any one aircraft can be in place at one time).
In such instances, each individual operator is required to have an appropriate
RVSM authorization issued in its own name in order for that operator to have
access to RVSM airspace.
B. RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots. To obtain authorization from the
Administrator to conduct operations in RVSM airspace, the Administrator must
find the operator to have adopted RVSM operating policies and/or procedures
for pilots (and, if applicable, dispatchers) and ensure each pilot has adequate
knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and procedures (“RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots”).
1) For an applicant that is operating only under part
demonstrating that it has RVSM‑Knowledgeable Pilots will consist of
providing sufficient evidence that each pilot has an adequate knowledge of RVSM
requirements, policies, and procedures, as required in part
91 appendix G,
section 3(c)(2). Refer to Advisory Circular (AC)
Authorization of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced
Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace, paragraph 3.3 for acceptable examples.
2) For an applicant who operates under part
in addition to meeting the adequate knowledge requirements for part
that applicant will need to provide sufficient evidence of
initial and recurring pilot training and/or testing requirements, as well as
policies and procedures that will allow the operator to conduct RVSM operations
safely, as required in part
91 appendix G,
section 3(b)(2) and (3) in order to demonstrate that they
are using RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots.
3) If (1) a subsequent applicant seeks a new authorization for
the operation of an aircraft in RVSM airspace, and that operator is using pilots
(and dispatchers where required) that have been previously determined by the
FAA to be RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots; (2) the new applicant provides a written
SOC documenting that the pilots they propose using still meet the requirements
with respect to their status as RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots, and that the new
applicant will be conducting the same type of operations (e.g., parts
applied to the previously adopted RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots; and
(3) no other information is provided or comes to light that calls into question
whether the pilots have retained their status as RVSM‑Knowledgeable Pilots for
the type of operation they will conduct, then the POI should accept those pilots
as meeting the RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots requirement with respect to the new applicant.
C. Additional Requirements to Obtain Authorization. In addition
to the requirements set forth in subparagraph 4-1236B, the RVSM authorization
applicant must meet the following requirements:
1) The minimum equipment list (MEL), if used, must incorporate
the required changes stated in Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) GC-59 (formerly
Policy Letter PL-84), dated August 15, 1997.
2) The RVSM authorization applicant must provide a procedure
for initial aircraft monitoring and meeting RVSM minimum monitoring requirements.
3) The RVSM authorization applicant must also provide the method
the operator will use to notify the crew if the aircraft has been restricted
from RVSM, but is Airworthy for an intended non-RVSM flight.
NOTE: Subparagraph 4-1236C3) addresses how maintenance is performed.
This element may be addressed through compliance with 14 CFR part
D. Required Monitoring. Operators that have been issued a U.S.
RVSM authorization are required to have their aircraft RVSM height monitored,
in accordance with the RVSM Minimum Monitoring Chart, every 2 years or within
intervals of 1,000 flight-hours, whichever period is longer.
1) Operators are not required to complete the height-monitoring
requirements prior to being granted operational approval. However, operators
that cannot show evidence of the last successful height monitoring, or the height
monitoring for the aircraft is out of date, have 6 months from the date the
authorization is issued to meet the monitoring requirement.
2) Evidence of previous successful monitoring of an aircraft
transfers to a new owner and/or operator and may be used to meet the monitoring requirements.
3) When calculating the 1,000-hour provision of the minimum monitoring
requirement, the calculation of the flight time should be from the last valid
monitoring date on record. Flight logbook data should be sufficient to meet
Volume 4, Chapter 1, Section 5 for
additional information regarding RVSM
Monitoring. The RVSM Minimum Monitoring Chart can be found in the “Monitoring”
section of the FAA RVSM Documentation website.
E. Responsible Person for RVSM Authorizations. For part
applicants, the application for authorization to operate within
RVSM airspace must include the designation of a Responsible Person, and may
further include the designation of a separate RVSM point of contact (POC), as follows:
1) The operator should designate a person(s) under this subparagraph E
who has the legal authority to sign the RVSM authorization on behalf of the
operator and who has adequate knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and
procedures, which person may be the individual person who will be the operator,
or, if the operator is a legal entity, then an officer or employee of that entity,
or a separate person who that individual person or entity has contracted with
in order to act on behalf of the individual person or legal entity with respect
to the RVSM authorization. See
Volume 3, Chapter 2, Section 2 for
responsibilities related to part
2) The operator should also designate a person(s) to act as a
contact person who has actual day‑to‑day knowledge of the RVSM-Compliant Aircraft
operations and maintenance status that the FAA may contact to gather such information
when such a need arises.
3) The operator may use one individual to fulfill both roles,
as described in subparagraphs 1) and 2), or the operator may elect to designate
separate persons to fulfill these roles.
4) Whoever the operator designates to fulfill the role described
in subparagraph 1) will be designated as the Responsible Person, and that Responsible
Person will sign LOA B046, as appropriate.
5) If the operator chooses to use separate individuals, then
the person fulfilling the role described in subparagraph 2) above will be designated
as the “RVSM POC.” In such an event, the separate person designated as the RVSM
POC (i.e., someone who has not also been designated as a Responsible Person)
will not have any authority to sign the RVSM authorization on behalf of the
operator. Additionally, if an operator has designated a separate RVSM POC, then
that is the individual the FAA should first contact with respect to the operator’s
RVSM-Compliant Aircraft operations and maintenance status.
6) In any event, the Responsible Person and/or the RVSM POC should
be a person that has ongoing knowledge of the operations of the aircraft under
the RVSM authorization.
7) Additionally, it generally is not appropriate to designate
an “Agent for Service” with respect to RVSM authorizations that are being issued to part
F. Coordination. The manager of the responsible Flight Standards (AFS) office,
in coordination with the PAI, PMI, and POI, will issue the OpSpecs, MSpecs,
or LOAs after determination of an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft and acceptance of
operator RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots requirements. Upon issuance, the POI will
make the appropriate PTRS entry (see Table 4-23, Activity Numbers for Section I, Block 3). Refer to AC
paragraph 3.3 for examples required for authorization submission.
NOTE: A PAI, PMI, or POI may sign OpSpecs, MSpecs, and LOAs for the
manager (when authorized).
4-1237 RVSM DECISION MATRIX.
A. RVSM Applicant Procedures. Any applicant for an administrative
change to an existing RVSM authorization should submit such documentation as
is called for in Group I of the RVSM Decision Matrix described in subparagraph
C below. Any applicant for a new RVSM authorization should submit sufficient
documentation establishing that it will use an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft and RVSM-Knowledgeable
Pilots. If the applicant is submitting a new application that does not rely
on any previously accepted RVSM Authorization Element, then the application
will be processed in accordance with Group III of the decision matrix. If the
applicant seeks to rely on one or more previously accepted RVSM Authorization
Elements, that applicant should review Group II of the decision matrix to determine
what additional information should be provided, as applicable, with respect
to the proposed use of a previously accepted RVSM Authorization Element in order
to benefit from the efficiencies created by the matrix.
B. FSDO Approval Procedures. Once an applicable CHDO, FSDO, or
IFO has received a written request for service from an applicant for a new RVSM
authorization, that FSDO will process that request using the following general
1) Determine which of the Authorization Groups in the RVSM Decision
Matrix (Figure 4-87) applies.
2) In the event an existing RVSM authorization holder seeks to
move its RVSM authorization to a new controlling FSDO, or a new RVSM authorization
applicant submits an application to a FSDO that includes the use of one or more
existing RVSM Authorization Elements that have been previously accepted by a
different FSDO, then the requested FSDO should adopt and accept those previously
accepted RVSM Authorization Elements, absent any information provided as part
of the application that raises questions or concerns with respect to the ongoing
validity or applicability of those previously accepted RVSM Authorization Elements.
3) Although guidance has been created in order to allow for the
most efficient processing of an RVSM authorization request as possible without
sacrificing operational safety, and a safety inspector may rely on this guidance
in issuing new or amended RVSM authorizations, each FSDO, CHDO, IFO, POI, PAI,
PMI, and/or ASI retains the authority to conduct as much review and research
with respect to any proposed RVSM‑Compliant Aircraft or RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots
requirements as warranted in order to ensure safety and regulatory compliance
requirements have been met.
NOTE: It is the operator’s responsibility to ensure that documentation
reflects the requirements for authorization. A positive statement by the operator
detailing any changes made to previously approved programs assists the inspector
in determining the level of review necessary to meet the burden listed above.
For example, it would be inappropriate for an operator to submit documentation
containing a previous operator’s name or contacts.
C. RVSM Decision Matrix. Each RVSM authorization applicant and
each FSDO that has received an RVSM authorization request will use the following
RVSM Decision Matrix, in conjunction with the definitions and procedures with
respect to the matrix and RVSM Authorization Elements described in paragraphs
4-1234, 4-1235, and 4-1236 above, in order to request and process the applicable
RVSM authorization application.
Figure 4-87. RVSM Decision Matrix
• The following changes
are considered to be administrative in nature only.
• This group only
applies in circumstances where a previously authorized RVSM operator
and each of the previously accepted RVSM Authorization Elements
are remaining the same.
1. Change in the primary business address of an RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft and/or RVSM authorization holder.
2. Change in an existing RVSM operator’s designated Responsible
Person (or RVSM‑Authorized Representative or RVSM Point of Contact
3. Change in the registration markings of an RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft being operated by an existing RVSM authorization holder.
4. Removal of wording describing use of an RVSM-Approved Maintenance
Program for operators otherwise not having a requirement for an
approved maintenance program.
5. Removal of an RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft from an existing RVSM authorization that has multiple RVSM-Compliant
1. Prior to making a request for service for an authorization
amendment, each existing authorization holder should make a positive
determination as to which portions of the previously accepted RVSM
Authorization Elements the authorization holder is requesting to
2. That authorization holder should then submit a written request
to the controlling FSDO, CHDO, or IFO that:
a. States which of the applicable administrative changes are
b. Further affirmatively states that none of the previously
accepted RVSM Authorization Elements that formed the basis for the
initial issuance of the affected RVSM authorization have changed
or are changing; and
c. Requests the issuance of an amendment to the existing RVSM
authorization that acknowledges the administrative change being
3. If the nature of the requested amendment is to change the
primary business address from one FSDO, CHDO, or IFO service area
to another, he or she must notify, in writing, the losing (previously
responsible) FSDO, CHDO, or IFO of the new physical location and
mailing address within 30 calendar-days following relocation. The
losing FSDO, CHDO, or IFO must request that the WebOPSS Help Desk
move the operator’s database to the appropriate receiving FSDO,
CHDO, or IFO. The losing FSDO, CHDO, or IFO must also notify the
receiving FSDO, CHDO, or IFO of the change. The receiving FSDO,
CHDO, or IFO should then update and reissue the operator’s A001
template to reflect the new address, and the receiving FSDO, CHDO,
or IFO becomes the responsible FSDO, CHDO, or IFO for processing
new LOAs for that operator.
4. The authorization holder
should also provide such further information as the FSDO, CHDO,
or IFO may request in order to efficiently process the request.
1. Review the request and supporting documentation received
from the RVSM authorization applicant to determine if it appears
that an amended RVSM authorization amendment is warranted.
2. Reissue the amended RVSM authorization that is identical
to the initial RVSM authorization in all respects other than reflecting
the new amended information.
3. If the nature of the requested amendment is to change the
primary business address from one FSDO service area to another,
see the additional applicable guidance in
Volume 3, Chapter 2, Section 2,
Responsibility for Part
of Authorization (LOA).
4. If an existing RVSM authorization
holder has made a written affirmation that none of the underlying
previously accepted RVSM Authorization Elements has changed or will
change, and there is no other information provided to the FSDO raising
any questions or concerns with respect to the ongoing validity or
applicability of those RVSM Authorization Elements, then, subject
to subparagraph 4-1237B3), the FSDO, CHDO, or IFO should issue the
requested amendment without further inspections being required.
• The following RVSM
authorizations are new authorizations.
• This group will normally
apply to a new or proposed RVSM operator that is seeking the issuance
of an RVSM authorization for an aircraft that is already an RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft and/or previously accepted RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots requirements
with respect to its operations of that specific aircraft.
1. There is a change in the legal status or identity of the
business entity that is the Approved RVSM Operator, but the Responsible
Person, RVSM Authorized Representative, and/or RVSM Contact Person
and each of the Approved RVSM Authorization Elements are remaining
a. One example of this situation may occur where an operator
is converted from an S-corporation to a limited liability company
under applicable state law, but no other changes are occurring.
b. Another example may occur where the ownership and operation
of an aircraft is transferred from one company to a legal affiliate,
but there are no other changes occurring.
2. A new proposed RVSM operator will be using an existing RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft and/or previously accepted RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots requirements.
Examples of this type of situation may include:
a. An operator takes delivery of a newly manufactured aircraft
that is type‑certified as RVSM-compliant.
b. An Approved RVSM Aircraft is being operated under an RVSM
authorization issued to a 14 CFR part
carrier, and the underlying owner or a separate
lessee will occasionally use that specific aircraft and/or the same
RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots requirements.
c. A group of underlying owners or lessees use an RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft, each maintaining their own operational control of that
aircraft pursuant to a dry lease and/or the same RVSM-Knowledgeable
3. An existing or newly proposed Approved RVSM Operator seeks
an RVSM authorization and will be utilizing one or more existing
Approved RVSM Authorization Elements.
a. An example may be where an
existing RVSM operator seeks to add a new proposed RVSM-Compliant
Aircraft to an existing RVSM authorization where that operator will
continue to use previously accepted RVSM‑Knowledgeable Pilots requirements.
1. Make a positive determination that the existing or newly
proposed RVSM operator is seeking an RVSM authorization that will
utilize at least one previously Approved RVSM Authorization Element
(i.e., an existing RVSM-Compliant Aircraft and/or RVSM-Knowledgeable
2. Submit a written request to the controlling FSDO, CHDO, or
a. Provides complete documentation of an RVSM compliance program,
including written information evidencing that the specific aircraft
meets the requirements of an RVSM-Compliant Aircraft;
b. Further specifically states that previously accepted RVSM-Knowledgeable
Pilots requirements will be used with respect to the operation of
the proposed Approved RVSM Aircraft in RVSM airspace, as applicable;
c. Provides such additional information as necessary to evidence
compliance with new or different RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots requirements
(or to be able to gain such approvals); and
d. Asks for the issuance of an RVSM authorization that applies
to the operation of the aircraft by that proposed RVSM operator.
3. Provide such further information
as the FSDO, CHDO, or IFO may request in order to efficiently process
1. Review the request and supporting documentation received
from the RVSM authorization applicant to determine if it appears
that the requested RVSM authorization is warranted.
2. To the extent the RVSM applicant has provided written documentation
evidencing that the operator will be using a previously accepted
RVSM Authorization Element, and accept that RVSM Authorization Element
as a valid basis for the issuance of the new RVSM authorization,
and to the extent the applicant has presented a proposed RVSM Authorization
Element that has not been previously reviewed and accepted, conduct
such additional review and research with respect to that RVSM Authorization
Element only as is required to issue the new RVSM authorization.
3. If an RVSM applicant has
made a written affirmation that one or more of the underlying previously
accepted RVSM Authorization Elements have not changed or will not
change, there is no other information provided to the FSDO, CHDO,
or IFO raising any questions or concerns with respect to the ongoing
validity or applicability of those RVSM Authorization Elements,
and the applicant has otherwise presented sufficient evidence of
compliance with the requirements of the remaining RVSM Authorization
Elements, then, subject to subparagraph 4-1237B3), the FSDO, CHDO,
or IFO should issue the requested amendment without further inspections
• In the event a proposed
new or existing Approved RVSM Operator seeks the issuance of an
RVSM authorization that will not be based on any existing RVSM Authorization
Element, then neither Authorization Group I nor II above will apply.
The proposed Approved RVSM Operator should submit sufficient evidence
to show his or her ability to comply with each of the RVSM Authorization
Elements, and the FSDO, CHDO, or IFO should process the request
as a new and unique request by reviewing all of the materials provided
by the applicant to ensure that each of the RVSM Authorization Elements
have been met.
4-1238 COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS. This task requires coordination
between Airworthiness and Operations ASIs.
4-1239 REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
A. References (current editions):
• Title 14 CFR Parts
Authorization of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced
Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace.
• Volume 4, Chapter 1, Section 5,
Special Navigation Areas of Operation.
B. Forms. None.
C. Job Aids:
• Element Design Assessment (EDA) 4.6.1 (AW) Avionics Special Emphasis Programs.
• RVSM PTRS Data Entry Job Aid (see Figure 4-88).
A. Accepting a Previously Approved RVSM Authorization Element.
If accepting a previously Approved RVSM Authorization Element in accordance
with Figure 4-87, the inspector will enter the appropriate PTRS activity code
(nn13) and document the acceptance of a previously approved Authorization Element
in the comments section.
B. Determination of Aircraft Compliance. Determine if the aircraft
meets the requirements of part
91 appendix G,
section 2 and is RVSM-compliant (see paragraph 4-1234).
C. Revision of RVSM-Approved Maintenance Program Requirements in
an Existing Authorization. Review the operator’s maintenance program requirements.
RVSM-Approved Maintenance Program requirements listed on the authorization may
be removed, as described in subparagraph 4-1235B.
D. Evaluate RVSM-Knowledgeable Pilots. Determine if the operator
meets the operational elements of part
91 appendix G
(see paragraph 4-1236).
4-1241 TASK OUTCOMES.
A. Determine Aircraft RVSM Compliance.
1) If it is determined that an aircraft is RVSM-compliant, the
PAI or PMI will complete the PTRS record with the date of modification or RVSM
compliance date in the “Comments” field and will notify the applicant in writing.
The activity code for this work function will be 3411 (Maintenance) or 5411
(Avionics) for initial airframe acceptance (determination of compliance).
2) If it is determined that an aircraft is not RVSM-compliant,
advise the operator/applicant by letter of the determination with an explanation.
B. Removal of RVSM-Approved Aircraft Maintenance Program Wording.
1) Upon revision of an existing authorization to remove the RVSM-Approved
Maintenance Program, the PAI or the PMI will make an entry in the PTRS and notify
the applicant. The activity code for this work function will be 3413 (Maintenance)
and 5413 (Avionics).
2) If it is determined that elements of an existing RVSM maintenance
program must be incorporated into an operator’s approved inspection or maintenance
program, those elements must be added to the operator’s program before the RVSM
authorization revision is completed. The PAI or PMI will identify and record
the approval date of the program revision in the PTRS entry.
4-1242 PTRS DATA ENTRY JOB AID FOR RVSM.
A. RVSM PTRS Data Entry Job Aid. Figure 4-88 is a job aid that is intended
to aid inspectors in making PTRS data entries for RVSM and standardize RVSM
PTRS data. The use of the PTRS is essential for management of the various RVSM
databases. The entities responsible for these databases may not have access
to SAS. However, routine RVSM surveillance for parts
are captured in SAS.
1) Aircraft Status for RVSM Monitoring. Many operators have aircraft
monitored immediately after the completion of RVSM-required modifications and/or
inspections. The information in the job aid will enable the Separation Standards
Analysis Branch (ANG-E61) to confirm that the aircraft was RVSM-compliant when
the RVSM monitoring flight was conducted. ANG-E61 responsibilities are detailed below.
NOTE: It is imperative that inspectors update the PTRS in a timely manner.
2) RVSM Approvals Database. The ANG-E61 team at the William J. Hughes Technical
Center (WJHTC) retrieves PTRS information to maintain a database of U.S. RVSM
aircraft and operator approvals. This database is used to complete RVSM safety
assessment and safety oversight tasks. The data is used with periodic traffic
samples to identify unapproved operations in RVSM airspace. The database is
also forwarded to international bodies tasked with tracking RVSM aircraft/operator
approval and conducting safety analyses.
NOTE: This information is being used to find and investigate aircraft
that fly at RVSM FLs, but are not RVSM-approved. The database of RVSM approvals
is not, however, used in real-time to grant or deny clearance into RVSM airspace.
B. Separate PTRS Entries. Inspectors must make separate PTRS
entries as follows:
1) When the inspector determines that operator aircraft are RVSM-compliant,
the inspector must update the PTRS in accordance with Section IV of the job
aid shown in Figure 4-88.
2) For aircraft manufactured RVSM-compliant, the AFM and/or TCDS
will show RVSM compliance. In accordance with Table 4-23 and Figure 4-88, the
date entered will be the date that the aircraft Airworthiness Certificate was issued.
3) When OpSpecs or an LOA is issued, the inspector must update the PTRS.
4) The inspector must update “other” actions. “Other” actions
include, but are not limited to:
• N-number change;
• Withdrawal of RVSM approval due to transfer of airframe to a different operator;
• Investigation of height-keeping error report (ASE-R);
• Notification from operator of successful height monitoring to
comply with the RVSM minimum monitoring requirements; and/or
• Removal of RVSM-Approved Maintenance Program requirements. (A single PTRS entry
should be made with Block 14, Aircraft Reg #, and Block 20, Make, Model, and Series (M/M/S), left blank.)
C. Fax or Email To ANG-E61. If there are questions in regard to PTRS inputs,
inspectors can contact the U.S. Operator/Aircraft RVSM Approvals Database and
Monitoring Manager, John Warburton, by:
• Phone: 609-485-6603,
• Fax: 609-485-5078, or
D. System Update. The FSDO, CMO, or IFO will update the system,
as a minimum, with the specific items listed in Table 4-23 and Figure 4-88.
E. Specific Entries for the RVSM PTRS Data Entry Job Aid. Inspectors should
enter the information below in the sections of the data sheet as shown:
1) Section ITransmittal RVSM Approval.
a) Block 3, Activity Number: See Table 4-23.
b) Block 4, 14 CFR:
c) Block 11, Designator: 4-letter code for parts
d) Block 14, Aircraft Reg #: Aircraft registration number.
e) Block 20, Make, Model, and Series (M/M/S): Aircraft M/M/S.
f) Block 24, Non-Cert Activity Name/Company: Aircraft operator name. (Required
part 91 operators.
Prohibited for parts
g) Block 42, National Use: RVSM.
2) Section IIIEquipment. Block 55, Aircraft Serial Number.
3) Section IVMethod of Compliance/Comments. Section IV of Figure
4-88 provides inputs for the primary area, key words, opinion code, and text.
NOTE: The first three rows of Section IV provide options to describe
the work accomplished to bring the aircraft into RVSM compliance. The inspector
should complete the line that best describes the action taken.
Table 4-23. Activity Numbers for Section I, Block 3
Operations Activity Code
Airworthiness Activity Code
Avionics Activity Code
Figure 4-88. RVSM PTRS Data Entry Job Aid
Name Code: (initials)
ID: (generated by system)
Number: See Table 4-23.
(4) 14 CFR:
(5) NPG: (not
Date: (not used)
(8) Start Date:
Date: (as appropriate)
(4-letter code for part
Designator: (not used)
/Departure Point: (not used)
Point: (not used)
Model, and Series (M/M/S):
#: (not used)
Activity Name/Company: (aircraft operator name, part
or A125 LODA only.)
#: (not used)
Serial # (55)
F or G
Service Bulletin(s) (SB), Other Document Scenario.
Date (mmddyyyy) aircraft modified
and/or inspected per SBs (number(s)) or other approved RVSM
document(s) by (name) repair station or other modification
F or G
STC(s) Scenario. Date
(mmddyyyy) aircraft modified/inspected per STC(s) (number(s))
by (name) repair station or other modification facility.
F or G
Aircraft Manufactured RVSM-Compliant.
aircraft airworthiness certificate issued.
F or G
CMO Determination of Aircraft RVSM compliance.
Date (mmddyyyy) FSDO, CMO, or IFO
inspector determined aircraft to be RVSM-compliant, including TCAS
II Version 7.0 incorporated (if aircraft TCAS II equipped).
F or G
Program Revision. Date
(mmddyyyy). RVSM maintenance program revision, or Approved RVSM
Maintenance Program requirement removed from authorization Date
and Dates. Date (mmddyyyy)
Date (mmddyyyy) issued and date
A or B
comments. For example:
Name of agent for service; company phone number; other.
A or B
and/or Maintenance Comments.
A or B
or OpSpecs Withdrawal.
LOA or OpSpecs withdrawn on date
(mmddyyyy) due to (reason).
(61) Date: Originator:
4-1243 INVESTIGATION OF ASE-Rs.
1) Safe operation within RVSM airspace requires measurement of
aircraft altitudes within stringent tolerances. Differences, known as altimetry
system error (ASE), occur between the altitude indicated by the altimeter and
the actual pressure altitude corresponding to the undisturbed ambient pressure
at which the aircraft is operating. Since the altimeter displays a level that
includes ASE, the presentation to the pilot, air traffic control (ATC), and
Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (ACAS) is not the actual height of the
aircraft. These errors are not apparent during flight operations. To be compliant
with regulatory standards for RVSM operation, the ASE of an aircraft must be
minimized and be no greater than 245 feet. Aircraft with observations of ASE
greater in magnitude than 245 feet are candidates for removal from RVSM and
subject to immediate action.
2) Continued safe RVSM operations require a high level of accuracy
from altimetry systems; therefore, ongoing system performance monitoring, as
well as individual aircraft performance monitoring, is necessary to ensure that
safety goals and requirements are met. In order to support monitoring needs
in accordance with international standards, requirements, and recommended practices,
the FAA deployed seven ground-based height monitoring units, also known as Aircraft Geometric Height Measurement
Element (AGHME) systems, in the North American Region. These monitoring systems
were strategically placed in high traffic flow areas and continuously record
aircraft performance data over their geographic locations. Additionally, airplanes
equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipment
meeting the standards of Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C166b, Extended Squitter
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Traffic Information Service-Broadcast
(TIS-B) Equipment Operating on the Radio Frequency of 1090 Megahertz (MHz),
version 2, report the necessary parameters for monitoring. The FAA uses this
information for monitoring of ASE while airplanes are in RVSM airspace within
the U.S. coverage area.
3) Aircraft are monitored by the AGHME systems or ADS-B Out data
processing, and those found to exhibit large ASE, with a magnitude greater than
200 feet, are investigated by the WJHTC Quality Control Team in conjunction
with the North American Approvals Registry and Monitoring Organization (NAARMO).
This group determines if an ASE-R should be generated to notify the operator
and FAA Headquarters AFS branches (the Performance-Based Flight Systems Branch
(AFS-470) and the Avionics Branch (AFS-360)) that an aircraft is exhibiting
unsatisfactory height-keeping performance.
1) The NAARMO, administered through ANG-E61, will:
a) Generate an ASE-R if an aircraft exhibits deteriorating performance and/or
ASE greater than 200 feet;
b) Notify and coordinate the ASE-R with AFS-470 and AFS-360 and the operator’s CHDO;
c) Track the ASE-R progress and evaluate followup monitoring as required;
d) Notify the operator’s CHDO and AFS-470 and AFS-360 of satisfactory or
unsatisfactory followup monitoring results via the resolution sufficient or
resolution insufficient letters; and
e) Close the report with a resolution sufficient letter upon acceptable
monitoring and forward to the CHDO, AFS-470, and AFS-360.
NOTE: Aircraft performance with ASE greater than 245 feet may warrant
consideration of immediate suspension of RVSM operations until further investigation
can be conducted. In this situation, coordinate with AFS-470, AFS-360, and the
2) AFS headquarters will:
a) Conduct a joint ASE-R review between AFS-470 and AFS-360 and notify the Part
Carrier Operations Branch (AFS-220), the Part
Carrier Operations Branch (AFS-250), or the Commercial Operations Branch (AFS-820) as applicable;
b) Coordinate with the NAARMO and the operator’s CHDO to assist the operator
in developing a corrective plan of action;
c) Track the ASE-R progress as required; and
d) In the case of unsatisfactory resolution, or ASE greater than 245 feet,
coordinate with the operator’s CHDO to determine if suspension of RVSM operations is warranted.
NOTE: In cases where corrective actions taken in accordance with ICA
fail to provide positive results, the type certificate holder (TCH) or STC holder
may be consulted. This coordination should involve the respective Aircraft Evaluation
Group (AEG) and Aircraft Certification Office (ACO).
3) The CHDO PAI will:
a) Upon notification of an ASE-R, open a PTRS record using guidance in the
RVSM PTRS Data Entry Job Aid (Figure 4-88). The following additional data field
accuracy is critical for RVSM performance trend analysis:
• Section I, block 3. 5413.
• Section I, block 40. ASE-R.
• Section III. Give detailed information on components that caused the ASE.
• Section IV, block 60. Begin detailed comments with the full ASE-R number.
b) Notify the operator of the ASE-R and, if necessary, coordinate with NAARMO,
AFS-470, AFS-360, and the operator to assist in developing operator corrective
plan. The plan is expected within 15 calendar-days of operator notification.
c) Review and, if satisfactory, accept the operator’s corrective plan. The
operator has 30 calendar-days from plan acceptance for corrective action to occur.
d) Submit the ASE-R Resolution Form to AFS-470 and AFS-360.
e) Monitor the ASE-R’s progress. If the initial results are satisfactory,
forward the NAARMO resolution sufficient letter to the operator. If the resolution
is unsatisfactory, coordinate with NAARMO and AFS-470 and AFS-360 to determine next action.
f) Close the PTRS record upon completion of satisfactory performance.
NOTE: All suspensions of RVSM operations due to ASE-R monitoring should
be coordinated with AFS-470 and AFS-360 with input from NAARMO.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-1244 through 4-1260.