Duncan Aviation logo

Clarifying The Relationship Between ADS-B and RVSM

December 2019

There remains much confusion over aircraft RVSM requirements as it relates to ADS-B equipage.

In a nutshell

Having your aircraft equipped with ADS-B means you no longer need to seek an LOA (Letter Of Authorization) for RVSM. Your aircraft must still meet RVSM equipment and maintenance requirements in accordance with maintenance manuals and Approved RVSM Maintenance Programs and will require RVSM monitoring every two years or 1000 hours, whichever is longer.

ADS-B Streamlines RVSM Operations

The FAA is in the process of streamlining RVSM procedures and approvals for US operators equipped with ADS-B.

As per FAA Notice N8900.500 and Advisory Circular 91-85B, operators seeking to operate in RVSM airspace under 14 CFR Part 91, Appendix G, section 9, are not required to apply for authorizations. However, the operator needs to ensure the requirements to operate in RVSM airspace are met.

Aircraft with a qualified ADS-B system that meets the requirements of 14 CFR Part 91.227 can have height-keeping performance monitored at all RVSM altitudes where ADS-B coverage allows.

All pilots conducting operations in RVSM airspace must be proficient with the procedures and operations associated with RVSM. Also, operators other than Part 91 should have a training program addressing the operational practices, procedures, and training items related to RVSM.

Completing RVSM Monitoring Requirements

After installing ADS-B equipment, operators should not assume they have completed all RVSM monitoring requirements. The final step is to have the equipment performance validated with the FAA. This reaffirms it is installed and broadcasting correctly.

Validating ADS-B performance can be accomplished by:

  1. After ADS-B installation and before the initial ADS-B RVSM flight

**Please note the NAARMO is not automatically processing ADS-B height-monitoring results unless requested.

  1. After ADS-B-installation and AFTER initial ADS-B RVSM flight

 Aircraft that are not ADS-B compliant can be monitored by the following:

  1. Fly over an AGHME location
  2. Schedule a GMU (GPS Monitoring Unit) flight
    • Duncan Aviation offers RVSM monitoring through GMU monitoring.
    • After ADS-B for RVSM is up and running, the FAA may reassess how many AGHME ground stations to keep operational and eventually phase out the GMU monitoring.