NBAA welcomed changes announced and enacted yesterday by the FAA to streamline the process for aircraft operators seeking a letter of authorization (LOA) for operations in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace above FL280. According to NBAA senior manager of safety and flight operations Mark Larsen, the FAA’s final policy is in line with recommendations made by a task force to improve the LOA inspection process, while maintaining operational safety in the National Airspace System.
Specifically, in May the task force formally suggested incorporating guidance to simplify the LOA process largely through acknowledgement of previous operator and aircraft experience, as well as for prior approvals for RVSM-mandated aircraft equipment and training processes. NBAA representatives, who first brought the challenges related to RVSM authorization to FAA officials’ attention several years ago, participated in the joint industry/agency task force.
“We believe this will allow a significant shift in an inspector’s predisposition when conducting a review, particularly when handling relatively simple administrative changes for existing operators,” Larsen said. “Whereas earlier guidance dictated that an inspection always had to begin at square one–even for something as minor as a tail-number change–now the inspector may accept an operator’s demonstration of unchanged items and focus their time on reviewing the actual changes made.”