Raytheon Aircraft Services Ltd. in Chester, England, has started offering a program for older Hawker business jets to comply with the requirements for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) in preparation for the start of European RVSM in January. Hawker 700s that do not have air-data computers will be fitted with the air-data display unit developed by Innovative Solutions & support of Malvern, Pa.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
The FAA plans to begin a safety evaluation of domestic reduced vertical separation minimums (DRVSM) next month in an effort to show that the planned transition in U.S. airspace can be made without risk. FAA officials said the agency still plans to issue an NPRM in the spring that would reduce vertical airspace separation between FL 350 and FL 390 from the current 2,000 ft to 1,000 ft.
Innovative Solutions & Support continues its aggressive certification schedule for RVSM equipment for business aircraft.
Duncan Aviation, the Lincoln, Neb. company that specializes in avionics STCs and installations, has prepared a free booklet titled Straight Talk About RVSM (reduced vertical separation minimums). The booklet describes how RVSM implementation affects corporate operators and includes an explanation of regulatory requirements, a list of scheduled implementation dates and answers to a series of frequently asked questions.
November 21 marks the start of reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) in China’s airspace from FL291 to FL411. That differs from RVSM in much of the rest of the world, where the airspace stretches from FL290 to FL410. China selected the odd flight levels because its military, which controls the country’s airspace, uses metric flight levels.
DRVSM will commence as proposed on Jan. 20, 2005, according to final rules published on October 27. In adopting the timetable as proposed, the FAA rejected calls for phased implementation from NBAA, GAMA, NATA and AOPA. But Cessna Aircraft, along with Boeing and several airlines, supported the proposal. The new requirements also reverse a proposal to allow RVSM approval of turboprops with only one compliant altimeter.
The surprisingly high number of business aircraft that now comply with reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM)–and the number of service centers that are offering RVSM avionics installations–could mean that most operators will be ready for the new airspace standards by the domestic RVSM (DRVSM) compliance deadline of Jan.
CitationShares, the fractional aircraft ownership venture between Cessna and TAG Aviation USA, claims to be the first fractional operator whose aircraft are all RVSM-compliant. CitationShares currently operates 34 CJ1s, Bravos and Excels for some 300 owners. The Greenwich, Conn.-based company also said all 140 of its pilots are RVSM-qualified. A company spokesman said that all its aircraft are delivered from Cessna with RVSM certification.
UK-based Avionics Mobile expects to complete by the end of the month an RVSM equipment and operational package for the BAC 1-11. In addition to verifying the RVSM capability of the aircraft’s original Elliott autopilot, the package includes air-data displays from IS&S and flight-test evaluations from Aeromech. Meanwhile, Thunder Avionics, a division of the Thunder Aviation FBO at Spirit of St.
Duncan Aviation of Lincoln, Neb., has received RVSM group certification for the Westwind 1124 and RVSM equipment certification for the Astra series. Basic equipment installation for the Westwind (including air-data computers and IS&S altimeters) costs $160,400, depending on aircraft configuration. A pneumatic standby altimeter is an additional $12,000 (installed).