The issue of FAA delays in approving letters of authorization (LOAs) for operations such as RVSM continues to fester. At this month’s NBAA Convention, the FAA’s Roger Sultan will join attorney David Norton of Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton to help pilots and aircraft operators understand the LOA process, learn how recent changes might accelerate LOA approvals and give feedback about their experiences obtaining LOAs.
The FAA has reminded operators that continued operations within reduced vertical separation minimum airspace require aircraft maintenance in accordance with RVSM maintenance guidelines. The agency is concerned that many operators bring aircraft in for maintenance and fail to adequately document compliance with RVSM standards.
A surge in pilots requesting RVSM flight levels or operating in RVSM airspace (FL290 to FL410) without the required authorization prompted the FAA to issue Information for Operators (InFO) 12001, which emphasizes flight-planning responsibilities when conducting these operations. “In the first 15 days of November, 35 IFR operations were filed incorrectly,” the FAA said in the document.
The following is a list of steps operators will need to complete to gain RVSM approval.
In spite of the near panic the subject of DRVSM creates in some flight departments, it may come as a surprise that the FAA lists only three things an operator must have to gain access to the future stratum of special-use airspace: an airplane; the telephone number of your local service center; and money.
After completing all the necessary test flights in a late-model Learjet 25D this past spring, Avcon Industries now anticipates receipt this month of an STC for the company’s $149,500 Learjet 20-series RVSM package. Five more airplanes (two Learjet 24s and three 25s) will next join the test program in an endeavor that could lead to RVSM group approval of the series by late summer.
Innovative Solutions & Support continues its aggressive certification schedule of reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) equipment for a wide range of business and regional jet aircraft.
St. Louis-based Sabreliner received RVSM group certification for the Sabre 65. The approval, based on the installation and flight testing of equipment in six Sabre 65s, means customers installing the equipment won’t need trailing-cone flight tests and subsequent data reviewed by the FAA, said Sabreliner. The company said it can install the required equipment in “two to three weeks,” depending on an aircraft’s current avionics configuration.
Just like Paul Revere’s midnight ride to warn of the incoming British, the Canadian Business Aviation Association is signaling to its troops that RVSM is coming.
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.
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