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Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM)
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|Category:||Loss of Separation|
The principal benefits which the implementation of the reduced VSM were expected to provide were:
- A theoretical doubling of the airspace capacity, between FL290 and FL410; and
- The opportunity for aircraft to operate at closer to the optimum flight levels with the resulting fuel economies.
The program relies on the carriage and serviceability of specified aircraft equipment and the existence of appropriate operating procedures to ensure that the risk of loss of separation is no greater than it would be outside RVSM airspace.
Since 1999 RVSM procedures have been implemented between specified levels in many parts of the world, including for example, Europe and the North Atlantic, bringing corresponding increases in capacity.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima Approval
- An operator shall not operate an aeroplane in defined portions of airspace where, based on regional air navigation agreement, a vertical separation minimum 300 m (1000ft) applies unless approved to do so by the Authority (RVSM Approval). EASA IR-OPS SPA.RVSM.100 and SPA.RVSM.110, EU-OPS 1.241 See also EU-OPS 1.872.
- Prior to granting the RVSM approval... the State shall be satisfied that:
- a) the vertical navigation performance capability of the aeroplane satisfies the (laid down requirements);
- b) the operator has instituted appropriate procedures in respect of continued airworthiness (maintenance and repair) practices and programmes; and
- c) the operator has instituted appropriate flight crew procedures for operation in RVSM airspace.
- Note: An RVSM approval is valid globally on the understanding that any operating procedures specific to a given region will be stated in the Operations Manual or appropriate crew guidance. (ICAO Annex 6 Part I Chapter 7, Para 7.2.5.)
- An operator shall ensure that aeroplanes operated in RVSM airspace are equipped with:
- Two independent altitude measurement systems;
- An altitude alerting system;
- An automatic altitude control system; and
- A secondary surveillance radar (SSR) transponder with altitude reporting system that can be connected to the altitude measurement system in use for altitude keeping. (IR-OPS SPA.RVSM.110, EU-OPS 1.872)
- ICAO Annex 6 Part I Chapter 7 Paras 7.24 - 7.27 and Appendix 2;
- ICAO Doc 9574: Manual on Implementation of ... RVSM;
- IR-OPS SPA.RVSM.100 and SPA.RVSM.110,
- EU-OPS 1.241;
- EU-OPS 1.872;