Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums (RVSM) airspace is just about world wide now. RVSM includes airspace from FL290 to FL 410. Designated RVSM airspace allows authorized aircraft to operate at 1000 foot separation.
Operations at these higher altitudes for many jet aircraft is critical for mission accomplishment and cost effectiveness.
You can obtain authorization to operate in RVSM airspace by fulfilling the requirements of Part 91 Appendix G and/or through your local Civil Aviation Authority. The United States, ICAO, and Europe have established steps that are common to all operators.
In the United States the Part 91 and Part 135 RVSM certifications are very similar and both mandated by 14 CFR Part 91 Appendix G. The biggest difference being the Part 135 requires training, but in all honesty you really don't want to operate in RVSM airspace at 1000 feet separation without training.
FAA Requirements for RVSM Certifications
REF 8900.1 Volume 4 Chapter 10 Section 4-1233:
"B. Authorization. The Administrator authorizes operators to conduct flight in RVSM airspace. The criteria evaluated to issue this authorization consist of three basic elements:
NOTE: Foreign commercial operators of civil aircraft of U.S. registry must comply with 1) and 2) below. The operating policies and procedures for pilots, and dispatchers, to include training, are the responsibility of the State of the Operator. For additional guidance, see Volume 12.
1) The operator's aircraft complies with the requirements of part 91 appendix G, § G2.
2) The operator's maintenance program complies with the requirements of part 91 appendix G, § G3.
3) The operator has adopted RVSM operating policies and procedures for pilots (and, if applicable, dispatchers) acceptable to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)."
Certifications are carried out by the aircraft manufacturer as well as by STC. Both include the minimum RVSM equipment; autopilot, 2 altimeters, transponders, etc... to be installed and operable. The Federal Aviation Administration will need documentation, referred to as the data package, showing the installation and FAA approval for the equipment.
Operator and Pilot Authorization
The 'data package' is the main component for the average Part 91 operator, and for the Part 135 operator the Policy and Procedures Manual is the important added component. After you obtain your authorization you must maintain the aircraft RVSM status and pilot proficiency. For a small operator a good set of procedures can be established in the policy section of your RVSM manual. The larger operators are doing the same and adding quality assurance programs.
The FAA provides guidance for evaluating applications for an operator to conduct flight in airspace where Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) in 8900.1, Chapter 10 as outlined above.
After an application is approved the FAA issues operations specifications (OpSpecs), management specifications (MSpecs) or a letter of authorization (LOA), as appropriate.
How long does it take?
We have seen as little as a few weeks for the FAA depending on the FSDO staffing and work load. Both the Part 91 and Part 135 RVSM certifications are about the same. Of course it can also go the opposite and take months. The key is to get your manuals and documents together and make it as complete and accurate as you can before submitting to the FAA. If you haven't done it before or don't have the time hire us it's well worth it.
We would be glad to help you with your RVSM certification paperwork. The standard package RVSM service includes the following;
All manuals include custom set up to your company operations, manual styles, logo, and colors.
Just give us a call or send an email and we will get you started. First thing we will need to do is gather the pertinent RVSM information that the FAA will need to have. You can fill out the RVSM Information Form and send it to us if you want to get things moving forward. We will send you a confirmation and we will schedule your job in as soon as payment is received.
We look forward to working with you!
Additional Single Pilot Requirements
New Certification Projects
FAA's Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum Information Sheet
The RVSM worksheet is a useful tool from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website. The worksheet outlines the steps and may be used as a checklist tool. FAA Work Sheet.