A proposed rule issued today by the FAA would eliminate the requirement for operators seeking RVSM authorization to develop and submit an RVSM maintenance program. Currently, any operator seeking RVSM authorization must include such a program as part of the application, per FAR 91G(3)(b)(1).
According to the FAA, this requirement dates back to 1997, “when most aircraft required significant design changes or inspections” to qualify for RVSM operations. Because of this, the agency has required operators to submit a detailed plan for the maintenance of RVSM systems and equipment. However, the FAA noted, RVSM operations are much more common today, and systems now incorporated into aircraft or supplemental type certificate (STC) designs have maintenance requirements tied to aircraft airworthiness.
In light of these developments, the FAA deems the requirement for an RVSM maintenance program no longer necessary. The agency estimates that, if enacted, the relaxed rule will save operators and the FAA $76.1 million over five years. Comments are due by July 27.