The introduction of Reduced Vertical Separation Minima in Europe in 2002 provided an additional 6 flight levels above 29000 ft, by replacing 2000 ft vertical separation with 1000 ft. In addition to increasing capacity, RVSM also provided environmental benefits by permitting aircraft to fly at more fuel efficient levels.
The cost of introducing this reduced vertical separation was a strict process of certification, approval and monitoring of altimetry system performance. The role of confirming both the approval status of aircraft and the altimetry system performance is the responsibility of the European Regional Monitoring Agency (RMA).
The EUR RMA was established at EUROCONTROL in 2003 by the Permanent Commission at the request of the ICAO European Air Navigation Planning Group.
Establish and maintain a database of RVSM approvals.
Monitor aircraft height-keeping performance and the occurrence of large height deviations, and report results appropriately.
Conduct safety and readiness assessments and report results appropriately.
Monitor operator compliance with State approval requirements after RVSM implementation.
Initiate necessary remedial actions if RVSM requirements are not met.
To measure the altimetry system performance the EUR RMA operates the largest mature height monitoring infrastructure in the world, producing approximately 1,000,000 height monitoring results per year. These systems enable the RMA to measure an aircraft’s Altimetry System Error with an error margin of approximately 30 ft.