Although the FAA removed the approved RVSM maintenance requirement on August 19, 2016, RVSM height monitoring is still a requirement for RVSM approval. Operators must have procedures in place to complete height monitoring. Operators do not need to have height monitoring accomplished before the RVSM authorization is issued. Instead, applicants have up to six months to complete a successful height monitoring flight after RVSM approval is granted.
Frequency of RVSM Monitoring
Aircraft operators must have monitoring completed every two years of 1,000 hours, whichever is longer. The 1,000 hour period is calculated from the last monitoring on record. Also, successful RVSM monitoring is transferable to the new operator if the aircraft is sold.
How to Accomplish RVSM Height Monitoring
There are two methods to have height monitoring completed, GPS-based Monitoring Unit (GMU) and Aircraft Geometric Height Measurement Element (AGHME). The GMU is a GPS data collection system that is carried aboard an aircraft for one flight. The data collected is analyzed post-flight to determine height monitoring accuracy. There are fees associated with a GMU flight. The two companies that the FAA has agreements with for accomplishing GPS based monitoring are:
24-hrTel: +1 410-266-2266
Office: +1 410-573-3309
Fax +1 410-573-3007
CSSI, Inc. RVSM Monitoring
Tel +1 202-554-1050 or
Fax +1 202-863-2398
The AGHME method is a accomplished by flying over one of seven fixed ground based locations in the U.S. and Canada. A list of AGHME locations along with dates of availability can be found here. When flying over an AGHME location, the aircraft needs to be equipped with a operational Mode S Transponder. No additional special monitoring devices need to be carried on board the aircraft. Complete AGHME height monitoring procedures can be found here.
How to Check RVSM AGHME Height Monitoring
If your aircraft has had a successful AGHME Height monitoring flight, you can check the height monitoring records by clicking here. The results are available in either .pdf or Excel format. For U.S. non-commercial operators, click the IGA link. The IGA results are close to 500 pages long. To quickly find the aircraft I am looking for I use the ctrl+f keyboard shortcut to open a search window. Type the aircraft’s N# or serial number in the search tab to find your airplane.