Eurocontrol has confirmed it will definitely proceed with next year’s January 24 deadline for implementation of reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) in European airspace. The new 1,000-ft separation will apply between FL 290 and FL 410. Noncompliant aircraft (regardless of their state of registry) will be excluded from these flight levels.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
Arinc and Aeromech have announced plans to offer RVSM upgrade packages to owners and operators of Cessna Citations, Beechjets and Hawkers. The packages will be available beginning this month for the Cessna Citation 650, Beechjet 400/Mitsubishi 300 and Hawker 700, according to the companies.
A one-year extension of the accelerated bonus depreciation for general aviation aircraft purchases was included in S.1637, the Jumpstart Our Business Strength (Jobs) Act, which the Senate passed by an overwhelming 92-5 vote last month. The next step is for the House of Representatives to pass similar legislation.
West Star Aviation of Grand Junction, Colo., has started work on obtaining group RVSM approval for the Cessna 441 Conquest II. Skin mapping, flight testing and equipment installation will be part of the RVSM package, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. Equipment includes a Collins or Meggitt autopilot replacement for aircraft with the Cessna 1000-series autopilot.
Following approval several months ago of RVSM equipment in the JetStar II, Duncan Aviation reported that it has received group approval for RVSM operations for the four-engine business jet. Last February, the Lincoln, Neb.-based company completed the installation and certification of dual IS&S altimeter/air data units in a JetStar 731, the first step in adding these aircraft to group RVSM approval.
The FAA’s sweeping proposal to implement domestic reduced vertical separation minimums (DRVSM) in the U.S. starting in December 2004 drew sharp reproves last month from NBAA, which said business aviation was double-crossed by the agency after an earlier, less ambitious proposal calling for a phased implementation schedule was abruptly scrapped in deference to a recommendation by air traffic controllers.
Eurocontrol has now admitted to Cessna that the Citation 560 was mistakenly included on a list of nine aircraft that were found not to have met “group” height-keeping requirements for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM). The European air traffic control agency told the U.S. airframer that the problem was due to a measurement error on its part.
JetTech has received a reduced vertical separations minimum (RVSM) supplemental type certificate (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for Cessna’s Citation 500 series.
The new EASA STC will allow the aircraft series to be brought into compliance with RVSM requirements to legally operate between FL290 and FL410.
Cheyenne owners now have an option for RVSM certification, in the form of a Jettech kit available for all Cheyenne 400LS models equipped with the Collins APS-65 or King KFC 400 autopilot. The company is working on an STC for those equipped with a KFC 300. It will sell for $159,000 and include a new air data computer, digital altimeter and associated pitot-static and wiring upgrades.
Our community will face greater change in the next 10 years than we experienced in the last 50. We will see new communications, navigation and surveillance equipment, as well as changes in piloting requirements and procedures. A new class of very light jets (VLJs) will emerge, and owner pilots will be operating them in airspace previously the pur-view of professionals.