FAA Regulation Changes

January 29, 2019 and August 19, 2016
Jet RVSM Services | RVSM Manual Preparation Services | FAA regulation changes

JANUARY 1, 2019: Today the FAA removed the requirement for an RVSM LOA to operate in US Domestic RVSM airspace – if the aircraft is BOTH ADSB OUT equipped and RVSM capable. To enter RVSM airspace without an FAA-issued authorization beginning 1/22/19, ALL of the following must be true:

  • Flight conducted within the United States**;
  • N-registered aircraft based in the US;
  • RVSM compliant aircraft with RVSM knowledgeable pilots;
  • ADS-B Out compliant aircraft (flying in airspace actively being ADS-B monitored)
    • ADS-B Out system must meet equipment performance requirements of 14 CFR 91.227 (Look for statement in the AFM)
  • **Countries outside the US require an operator specific authorization (LOA) to enter RVSM airspace. To comply with ICAO Annex 6, each operator of aircraft must still apply to FAA for RVSM authorization under Appendix G, Section 3 and obtain an RVSM LOA.

See link below for FAA Notice 8900.500: “Use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast (ADS-B) Out in
Support of Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Operations”


AUGUST 19, 2016: Today the FAA did something fantastic for private and business jet aviation—something that will save operators time, frustration and money while increasing safety and reducing carbon emissions.  The FAA issued its final rule effective August 19, 2016, eliminating the requirement for an FAA-approved RVSM Maintenance Program.  This should significantly speed up the process of obtaining Part 91 RVSM Letters of Authorization in the future…allowing operators to fly in RVSM airspace much faster post-acquisition.

Jet RVSM is also launching a new website RVSM.us which will help us evolve not only with changing RVSM requirements, but also with recent revisions to international operations approvals (e.g. NAT HLA, RNP-10/RNP-4, ADS-B OUT, and CPDLC).  Soon we will announce new pricing to reflect the FAA regulation changes and simpler RVSM application process.

For the time being, operators seeking RVSM approval must also submit an RVSM Operations Program (which is accepted by the FAA but not officially “approved”).  We won’t know the fate of the RVSM Operations Program until we see a revised Advisory Circular 91-85 along with new FAA inspector guidance.  The rumor is, RVSM Operations Programs will be “recommended” for Part 91 operators, but not submitted to the FAA.

The demise of the RVSM Maintenance Program requirement will not affect the remaining requirements for RVSM knowledgeable pilots and RVSM compliant aircraft. Hopefully the application will look a lot more like a letter instead of a lengthy manual.   No action will be required by operators with a prior approved Maintenance Program. As proposed, the FAA rule change only affects new applications. If you have an FAA-approved RVSM Maintenance Program, then you must continue to comply with it.  The proposed rule-making also does not change the fact that certain events require an operator to request a new or reissued RVSM LOA:

  • Change of Operator;
  • Change of Operator Name (all else remains the same);
  • Change of RVSM Responsible Person; or
  • Change in Operator’s Principal Address.

This change does not effect the initial and recurrent RVSM height monitoring flight requirement.  Initial monitoring flights are still required within 6 months of issuance of an RVSM LOA (if not done by prior operator) and at 24-months or 1,000 flight hour intervals thereafter – whichever is longer.

This change does not effect the continued RVSM maintenance requirements identified in the manufacturer’s Airplane Maintenance Manual (AMM) or STC holder’s Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA). Recurrent RVSM maintenance identified in these documents, such as air data system, pitot static system, skin waviness inspections and transponder recertification, are still required to maintain the aircraft’s RVSM compliant status.

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