Avionics News May 2019 - 19

FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS: ADS-B

Authorization of aircraft
and operators for flight
in RVSM airspace
The following information is from the
Federal Aviation Administration's
Advisory Circular 91-85B.
Question:
If the aircraft is equipped with a compliant ADS-B
Out system, does the aircraft still need reduced
vertical separation minimum equipment, approval
and maintenance?
Answer:
Yes. According to FAA Advisory Circular 91-85B:
On Dec. 21, 2018, the FAA has issued a final rule
revising the requirements for application to operate
in RVSM airspace. On Jan. 29, 2019, the FAA
published a revision to AC 91-85B that provides the
guidance materials.
The AC defines aircraft eligibility as:
An aircraft is an "RVSM-compliant aircraft" when:
1.	 The aircraft design ensures the aircraft will
meet RVSM performance requirements.
2.	 The aircraft has been properly maintained on
an ongoing basis to conduct such operations.
The advisory circular further explains that
"Aircraft may be produced RVSM-compliant or
brought into compliance through the application
of appropriate service bulletins, service letters,
engineering change orders, or supplemental
type certificates. For airworthiness guidance, see
Appendix A, RVSM Airworthiness Certification.
To determine eligibility for RVSM operations, the
limitations section of the airplane flight manual
or AFM supplement should indicate the aircraft
has been determined to be capable of meeting the
RVSM performance requirements of 14 CFR Part
91 Appendix G."
And finally, the AC makes it clear that "The
operator is responsible for maintenance of the
systems affecting RVSM performance on the

aircraft. The operator must ensure that it complies
with the appropriate instructions for continued
airworthiness."
The December 2018 rulemaking allowed for
an authorization for operation of RVSM aircraft
equipped with a qualified ADS-B Out system. Note
that the rule only addresses the operation with no
change to the aircraft RVSM requirements, nor any
of the maintenance requirements. This is further
highlighted where the AC states:
Operators and pilots seeking to operate in
RVSM airspace under the provisions of Part 91
Appendix G, Section 9 are not required to apply
for authorizations. The operator or pilot needs
to ensure all applicable requirements in Part 91
Appendix G to operate in RVSM airspace are met.
The operator or pilot should:
1.	 Determine the aircraft is RVSM-compliant
(see Chapter 2, Aircraft Eligibility).
2.	 Ensure pilots are knowledgeable (see
Chapter 3, Knowledge and Training).
3.	 Ensure the aircraft meets RVSM
performance and the aircraft has been
height-monitored in accordance with
paragraph 4.3 (see paragraph 4.3.5 when
an operator is conducting the initial flight in
RVSM airspace).
4.	 Properly file a flight plan and understand
the policies and procedures for the RVSM
airspace in which the aircraft will operate.
As we stated in the April edition of Avionics
News, anyone intending to leverage this recent rule
change is encouraged to thoroughly review the AC
for proper guidance and procedures. Remember,
there is no change in aircraft equipage; only the
requirement for an explicit approval for domestic
U.S. RVSM operations has changed.
Updates continued on following page

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may

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Avionics News May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News May 2019

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Avionics News May 2019 - Intro
Avionics News May 2019 - No label
Avionics News May 2019 - Cover2
Avionics News May 2019 - 1
Avionics News May 2019 - 2
Avionics News May 2019 - 3
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Avionics News May 2019 - Cover3
Avionics News May 2019 - Cover4
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