Wednesday, July 20, 2016, the FAA announced in the Federal Register that an approved RVSM Maintenance program would no longer be a requirement for operators wishing to operate in RVSM airspace. This action became effective on August 19, 2016. The basis of this action is to save the FAA and operators time and money and improve efficiency in issuing RVSM LOAs/B046 OpsSpecs.
RVSM was implemented by the FAA in the Gulf of Mexico, the San Juan flight information region, Atlantic High Offshore Airspace, and the contiguous 48 states on January 20, 2005. Since then, the FAA has decided that RVSM continuing airworthiness can be ensured through aircraft design and airworthiness requirements.
If an operator has an existing approved RVSM maintenance program and is not required under regulation to hold an approved RVSM Maintenance program, that operator can apply to have their approved Maintenance Program removed from their authorization.
There are still “Maintenance” requirements when submitting an RVSM program.
- The operator must still prove that the aircraft is RVSM compliant. RVSM compliance can be shown through a statement in the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM), Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) installation, Service Bulletin (SB) or other means.
- The applicant must provide procedures for RVSM height monitoring and meet height monitoring requirements.
- The operator must have procedures for notifying the crew if an aircraft is restricted from RVSM operations but is airworthy for a non-RVSM flight.