As deadlines for domestic and expanded international reduced vertical separation minimum airspace draw nearer, more and more opportunities are popping up for operators to obtain installation of RVSM-approved avionics and other required equipment. Arinc, Jet Source and West Star Aviation are among the latest organizations to announce RVSM solutions. In some cases, competition is helping drive down prices.
Instead of relaxing in front of a warm fire inside a cozy Colorado mountain lodge this winter, some pilots are sitting at home in front of their computer monitors, hot under the collar. Most pilots realize that managing seasonal air traffic into ski country is like funneling an L.A.
As of November 25, Indonesia implemented reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) between FL 350 and FL 390. After an initial three-month evaluation trial and favorable safety assessment, flight levels possibly will be expanded to include FL 310 to FL 390.
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.
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.
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.
Starting with S/N 70, Premier Is being delivered are approved for operation in RVSM airspace. An RVSM modification kit is available at no charge for retrofit to all customers of earlier Premier Is. Reduced vertical separation minimum airspace is now in effect for typical cruising, altitudes in Europe, across the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, and will take effect in the U.S. in January 2005.
Business aircraft crews are being urged to ensure they are using true Mach numbers in all airspace where the Mach number technique (MNT) is applied for longitudinal separation. According to a bulletin from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), some pilots are unaware that their displays show uncorrected Mach numbers and will not therefore be conveying their true Mach speed to air traffic controllers.
It was 4:45 p.m. on the back nine of a long day. Frankly, I was a bit concerned that I’d embarrass myself taking the King Schools online RVSM pilot’s training course. The $199 course meets FAA requirements for the crew training portion of RVSM certification. John King told me that I should be able to complete it in an hour or less,
but I was skeptical.