Aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out avionics that meet altitude keeping requirements will no longer need to obtain reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) authorizations thanks to a new FAA rule.
Operators of ADS-B Out-equipped aircraft can begin RVSM operations without a separate authorization when the new rule goes into effect on January 22. The RVSM application process will be eliminated entirely after Jan. 1, 2020, when all aircraft operating in RVSM and other controlled airspace must be ADS-B equipped.
Civil aviation authorities first began introducing new RVSM rules in 1997, reducing the required vertical separation between aircraft flying between FL 290 and 410 from a minimum of 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet. The FAA implemented its current RVSM policy in domestic U.S. airspace in 2005. It then updated the policy again in 2014 to consider operator experience and knowledge in determining the extent of the evaluation required to obtain authorization. In 2016, the agency further modified the application process by eliminating the need for applicants to establish an approved RVSM maintenance program.
Eliminating the RVSM aircraft authorization process will save aircraft operators time and money, the FAA says.