RVSM Frequently Asked Questions, RVSM FAQ – Have a question that is not listed below? Contact us and we’ll try to help!
I heard the FAA recently changed the RVSM LOA process?
- As of August 19, 2016, RVSM authorization was revised for all Operators. The FAA removed a lot of the RVSM Maintenance Program requirements and have published Advisory Circular 91-85A to reflect these changes… Contact us to obtain your RVSM LOA / Operation Specifications with these new changes.
Will I need to interact with the FAA during the RVSM approval process?
- The FAA expects and requires the Operator’s involvement in the approval process. You are required to submit your RVSM Program manuals and supporting documentation after it has been prepared by Wilding Air. Also, you may need to communicate directly with your FSDO to resolve open issues during the review process which Wilding Air will help you with as necessary.
I just purchased a RVSM approved aircraft, how do I transfer the LOA?
- The previous Operator’s LOA becomes invalid the day the aircraft Operator changes. It must be returned to the FAA issuing office immediately. LOAs are non-transferable. Therefore, a new application package must be submitted to your local FAA office for approval. The FAA treats this application as a brand new submission.
What is WATRS?
- WATRS stands for the West Atlantic Route System. The West Atlantic Route System are based upon RNP 10 navigation specifications to allow closer spacing of aircraft. The WATRS airspace has been fully implemented as of October 20, 2011. If you plan on operating in Oceanic airspace in this area above FL280 you will need to have your RVSM manuals updated or revised.
What is NAT?
- NAT stands for the North Atlantic Tracks. The North Atlantic Tracks are based upon MNPS navigation specifications, now referred to as NAT-HLA, to allow closer spacing of aircraft. If you plan on operating to Greenland, Iceland or Europe, your RVSM Program Manual must contain this information.
Must an aircraft be equipped with TCAS in order to operate in RVSM airspace?
- No. The regulations that provide TCAS equipage requirements do not relate TCAS equipage to RVSM; however, If an aircraft operating in RVSM Airspace is equipped with TCAS II it must meet TSO C-119b (Version 7.0) or later version unless otherwise authorized.
Is a validation flight the same thing as a Height Monitoring Flight?
- No. A validation Flight is a flight that is observed and inspected by FAA inspectors prior to determining what operational approvals will be granted if required.
Are Validation flights required for RVSM Approval?
- In most cases, No. The review of the RVSM Data Package and related supplemental material should be sufficient in determining the eligibility of the aircraft; however, the inspector may choose to accompany the Operator on a flight. Typically, this can be done on a routine flight.
What is a Height Monitoring Flight?
Within six months of issuance of your RVSM LOA, you must complete an RVSM height monitoring flight via two options (we can help arrange this):
- Over fly one of the AGHME (Aircraft Geometric Height Measurement Element) constellations, which is a no cost service. If your aircraft is equipped with a Mode S transponder, the AGHME can simply be flown over. AGHME constellations are currently operational in Wichita, KS, Atlantic City, NJ, Phoenix, AZ, Portland, OR, Ottawa, ON and Lethbridge, AB.
- Complete a “GMU” (GPS-based Monitoring Unit) flight which Wilding Air can arrange. The technician performing the monitoring flight carries onboard a small, portable GPS unit with two antennas which will suction cup to two interior windows. The GMU flight requires you to fly above FL290 and hold LEVEL for 30 minutes while the GPS unit records flight data.
Do I need to renew my LOA?
- After 24 months, LOAs issued prior to February 6, 2006 are invalid and may require a new approval application submitted to the FAA. LOAs issued after February 6, 2006 are not required to be renewed every 24 months.
What is the FAA Inspector guidance on Letters of Authorization (LOA)?
- FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 1, Section 5, Paragraph 4-109H titled Operator and Airframe Authorization for Flight in Special Areas of Operations (SAO) dated (3/19/15).
If I have Part 135 Operations Specifications (OpsSpecs) granting me RVSM authority, am I required to also have an LOA when I conduct Part 91 Operations?
- No, providing that the aircraft is operated under the conditions and areas of operations listed in the OpsSpecs and the aircraft is operated under the Operator name listed in the OpsSpecs.