Must an aircraft be equipped with TCAS in order to operate in RVSM airspace?

No. The regulations that provide TCAS equipage requirements do not relate TCAS equipage to RVSM; however, If an aircraft operating in RVSM Airspace is equipped with TCAS II it must meet TSO C-119b (Version 7.0) or later version unless otherwise authorized.


Is a validation flight the same thing as a Height Monitoring Flight?

No. A validation Flight is a flight that is observed and inspected by FAA inspectors prior to determining what operational approvals will be granted.


Are Validation flights required for RVSM Approval?

In most cases, No. The review of the RVSM Data Package and related supplemental material should be sufficient in determining the eligibility of the aircraft; however, the inspector may choose to accompany the Operator on a flight. Typically, this can be done on a routine flight.


Do I need to renew my LOA?

After 24 months, LOAs issued prior to February 6, 2006 are invalid and may require a new approval application submitted to the FAA.  LOAs issued after February 6, 2006 are not required to be renewed every 24 months.


What is the FAA Inspector guidance on Letters of Authorization (LOA)?

Advisory Circular AC 91-85A “Authorization of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum Airspace” dated (8/21/09).  This guidance supersedes FAA Notice 8700.35 and FAA Notice 8700.23.


If I have Part 135 Operations Specifications (OpsSpecs) granting me RVSM authority, am I required to also have an LOA when I conduct Part 91 Operations?

No, providing that the aircraft is operated under the conditions and areas of operations listed in the OpsSpecs and the aircraft is operated under the operator name listed in the OpsSpecs.