Airspace usage demand increases every year, hence the need to transition airspace rules to keep pace. One of the most notable implementations is the Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM). The monitoring technique was implemented to accommodate increased air traffic and the enhanced safety features of modern technology.
RVSM airspace is any route between FL 290 and FL 410. It includes where aircraft are separated vertically by 300 m. Its implementation meant there would be changes in vertical separation between aircraft. Aircraft separation decreases in the airspace between FL 290 and FL 410, low-altitude airspace where fuel efficiency is improved because of a thinner, less dense atmosphere. The decreased separation between aircraft allows Air Traffic Controllers to safely increase the traffic capacity to minimize delays in the entire system.
RVSM Airspace Safety Focus
Changes in the airspace rules should keep the same or enhance the safety levels. There should also be a way to confirm safety maintenance after any changes. That’s why RVSM airspace included a requirement for a height-keeping performance check for operators looking to access the RVSM airspace stratum. The aircraft monitoring system assesses the risk of operating in the reduced airspace separation environment. If it’s within the expected error tolerance, the aircraft is safe for RVSM flight and does not pose risks to other aircraft operating within the space.
Monitoring RVSM Airspace
RVSM Monitoring tests help establish proof that the aircraft can match and reference altimetry data to ensure a safe flight. The most reliable way to measure aircraft height-keeping performance is to check the difference between how many miles a plane has flown and compared it to the geometric height of the plane. It’s also possible to determine where an aircraft should be flying based on the altitude of the region during its flight.
Approval for RSVM Operations
State airworthiness authorities are tasked with ensuring that an aircraft can meet and maintain the set altimetry system performance requirements. The crew should have thorough training in the required RVSM airspace procedures. If the crew meets the requirements, they are issued with an RVSM Operational Approval. All violations are reported to the state authority.
One of the most important aspects of aircraft certification is determining if an airplane’s height-keeping performance will be sufficient in various different vertical situations it could encounter. It covers the speed, altitude, and atmospheric pressure that the aircraft should expect to operate across in the RVSM airspace. An operator should also ensure that airplanes within the specified airspace have:
- Two independent altitude measurement systems
- An altitude alerting system
- an automatic altitude control system
- A secondary surveillance radar is equipped with a reporting system that can be connected to an altitude alerting system for better altitude monitoring.
Pilots are required to report any equipment failure and weather hazards that might affect their ability to maintain the RVSM requirements. If a meteorological forecast predicts severe turbulence within the cleared space, ATC determines if RVSM should be suspended for how long and the specific flight levels.
In summary, operating an aircraft requires top-notch care for optimal safety. You can find help on the Internet that will help you meet the required standards.