Requirements for Operators

State RVSM Approval

According to Chapter 3 of Doc 9574: Manual on Implementation of a 300 m (1 000 ft) Vertical Separation Minimum Between FL 290 and FL 410 Inclusive, where RVSM is applied, the specific aircraft type or types that the operator intends to use will need to be approved by the State of Registry of the aircraft or by the State of the aircraft operator. RVSM approval will encompass the following elements:

  1. Airworthiness approval (including continued airworthiness). The aircraft will be approved as meeting the requirements of the appropriate State airworthiness document derived from the height-keeping capability requirements as defined by the RVSM MASPS. Furthermore, the aircraft altimetry and height-keeping equipment must be maintained in accordance with approved procedures and servicing schedules
  2. Operational approval. As defined by ICAO regional air navigation agreements, it may be necessary for an operator to hold a separate RVSM-specific operational approval in addition to an RVSM airworthiness approval to operate in RVSM airspace.

RVSM approval issued for one region will always be valid for RVSM operations in another region provided specific restrictions have not been imposed on the operator by the State of Operator or State of Registry.

In addition, in their application to the appropriate State authority for RVSM approval, operators must show a plan for meeting the applicable Height-Keeping Performance Monitoring (HKPM) requirements.

Height-Keeping Performance Monitoring (HKPM) Requirements

All operators that operate or intend to operate in airspace where RVSM is applied are required to participate in the Height-Keeping Performance Monitoring (HKPM) program, as stated in the Asia/Pacific Minimum Monitoring Requirements (MMR). Monitoring should be completed as soon as possible but not later than 6 months after the issue of RVSM approval and thereafter as directed by the RMA. Moreover, aircraft operators who wish to maintain RVSM approval for their aircraft/aircraft fleet are required to satisfy the long-term monitoring requirement.

Monitoring height keeping performance is to estimate and evaluate the Altimetry System Error (ASE) of an aircraft operating in the RVSM airspace. The ASE is the difference between the altitude which the pilot, ground controller, and aircraft systems believe aircraft to be at and the actual altitude. To be compliant with international standards, the ASE of an aircraft must be less than 245 ft (75 m). The number of aircraft required to be monitored is specified in Asia/Pacific Minimum Monitoring Requirements (MMR).

When the ground-based height monitoring systems were in place, with their capability to give repetitive samples of measurements over time, RMAs became aware that the ASE characteristics are not constant but drifting in a linear fashion over time (read more about ASE...). As a result, ICAO has put in place the standard and recommended practice of the long-term monitoring requirements, as specified in Annex 6 Part I Section 7.2.7 and Part II Section 2.5.2.7, to ensure the safety of flight operations within the RVSM airspace:

“The State of Registry that has issued an RVSM approval to an owner/operator shall establish a requirement which ensures that a minimum of two aeroplanes of each aircraft type grouping of the owner/operator have their height-keeping performance monitored, at least once every two years or within intervals of 1 000 flight hours per aeroplane, whichever period is longer. If an owner/operator aircraft type grouping consists of a single aeroplane, monitoring of that aeroplane shall be accomplished within the specified period.”

Monitoring data from any regional monitoring programme established in accordance with Annex 11, 3.3.5.2, maybe used to satisfy the requirement.

How to Satisfy the Above Requirements

Operators should follow these steps to satify the above requirements:

1. Apply for RVSM approval from your State of Registry

An RVSM approval refers to the successful completion of airworthiness approval and operational approval (if required). RVSM approval should be completed before applying for any type of HKPM services.

2. Check the RVSM approval status of your airframes

Check the RVSM approval status of your airframes from the website of your responsible RMA (see List of RMAs).

  • If your State of Registry is under MAAR's responsibility, please refer to our RVSM Approval Records.
  • If you cannot find an approval record of your airframe listed on our website, please ensure that your State CAA has submitted F2 Form to MAAR. Please note that MAAR only accept F2 Form from State CAA.
  • If your RVSM records on our website appear to be expired, please contact your State CAA. RVSM approvals will only be extended upon receipt of RVSM approval updates from State CAAs via updated F2 Form. HKPM requirement may not be the only requirement to ensure that your aircraft satisfy the requirements of the RVSM MASPS, therefore, RVSM expiry dates will not be automatically updated according to the last successful monitoring dates.

3. Have your airframes been monitored, when required

Determine the number of airframes required to be monitored based on the Asia/Pacific RVSM Minimum Monitoring Requirements (MMR) and the monitoring information corresponding to your approval records. For States under MAAR's responsibility, monitoring information is the last 3 columns of our RVSM approval records. (This information is shared among RMAs and uploaded at least once a month, and therefore, may have a 1-2 month lag.)

  • Monitoring results from any regions can be used to satisfy the MMR. You can arrange your airframe to fly over any ground-based height monitoring system, or have them monitored using GMUs. Please, see a description of existing height monitoring systems available today in our HKPM section.
  • If your airframe was successfully monitored by any of the ground-based systems and you wish MAAR to issue an official letter to your State CAA, please complete and submit Monitoring Result Retrieval Form to maar@aerothai.co.th.
  • If you wish to have your airframes monitored using MAAR's EGMU HKPM Service, please visit HKPM Using EGMU section.

Summary

The following diagram summarizes the overall process and requirements: