New Height Monitoring Requirements
The FAA has recently clarified the requirements for "Height Monitoring." This is where your aircraft is either measured from the ground automatically by an Aircraft Geometric Height Measurement Element (AGHME) Station, or in-flight by a GMU Technician, in order to double-check that your aircraft is indeed flying within RVSM standards. AGHME Stations are strategically placed across the US and Canada. The AGHME system does not require that any special monitoring devices be installed on an aircraft in order that it be monitored. It is necessary, however, that the aircraft have an operational Mode S transponder. Future AGHME software development will relax this requirement to that of an operational Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System transponder.
More can be learned about height monitoring requirements at: www.faa.gov/air_traffic/separation_standards/aghme/
The height-keeping performance of aircraft is a key element in ensuring the safe operations of RVSM airspace . The RVSM monitoring standards are considered the minimum requirement needed to maintain the safety of operations in RVSM designated airspace.
In conjunction with internationally agreed upon changes to ICAO Annex 6, Operation of Aircraft, Parts I & II, applicable on 18 November 2010, the following standard and recommended practice was adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):
Operators, who have been issued an US RVSM LOA for a fleet of several aircraft, need to ensure that a minimum of two of those aircraft of each [RVSM] type grouping have their height-keeping performance monitored, at least once every two years or within intervals of 1,000 flight hours per airplane, whichever period is longer. If an operator aircraft type grouping consists of a single airplane, monitoring of that airplane shall be accomplished within the specified period.
Long Term Requirements
The Federal Aviation Administration will implement the standard above for RVSM Monitoring requirements. Operators that have been issued a U.S. RVSM authorization will be required to conduct initial monitoring within six months of date of issue and must conduct monitoring every two years or within intervals of 1,000 flight hours per aircraft, whichever period is longer, in accordance with the aircraft categories as presented in the current version of the (North American) RVSM Minimum Monitoring Requirements chart.
The RVSM Minimum Monitoring Requirements chart is coordinated with the North American Approvals Registry and Monitoring Organization (NAARMO) and updated periodically to reflect changes in aircraft data. The RVSM Minimum Monitoring Requirements Chart is posted to the FAA RVSM webpage in documentation section "Monitoring Requirements/Procedures." The Monitoring requirements become applicable on 18 May 2011 and operators have until 18 Nov 2012 to comply.
Operators found not in compliance will be required to show reason for not meeting the requirements including flight hour data to justify the 1,000 flight hour provision if the last successful monitoring exceeds a two year period.
Operators found not in compliance with the minimum monitoring requirements risk suspension of their RVSM authorization. Reinstatement of RVSM authorization will be granted upon the operator demonstrating they ha ve met the minimum monitoring requirements.
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