Aviation In Canada

Friday, January 21, 2005

RVSM is here!

For some of us, RVSM has been a reality for some time now. In my own building, Moncton Center, RVSM was introduced back in 1997, in a limited fashion. Our guys have been dealing with it to and from the North Atlantic since then. Now, it's here in its entirety. Everything over North America (right down into Mexico), the North Atlantic (including WATRS airspace over the Carribean) and into the Pacific is all RVSM exclusionary airspace.

In the past, non-RVSM certified aircraft were allowed to operate within RVSM airspace. Now, outside of exceptional circumstances, the only way they're allowed to run in RVSM airspace is if they are climbing or descending through it. If you're not "/W", the equipment suffix for RVSM, you're staying at FL280 if you can't make FL430. This was, of course, as it has been in many areas around the world, such as the oceanic airspace between Europe and North America, but the exclusionary part of RVSM is new to our domestic airspace. Most of the regular operators in our region received the certification on time to prevent restrictions on their flights, so if anything, it's pretty much "ops normal" around our skies.