RVSM Approvals


Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) was introduced to reduce the vertical separation above flight level (FL) 290 from the traditional 2000-ft minimum to 1000-ft minimum. This allows aircraft to fly more fuel efficient profiles, increases airspace capacity and reduces in-flight delays by providing six additional cruising levels between FL290 and FL410. The North Atlantic (NAT) was the first region to introduce RVSM, in 1997. Since then RVSM has been introduced across the world.

RVSM Approvals Database

One of the functions of a Regional Monitoring Agency (RMA) is to establish a database of aircraft approved by its State Airworthiness Authorities for operations in RVSM airspace in the region for which the RMA has responsibility. This information is necessary for two reasons:

  1. The RMA is responsible for verifying the approval status of all aircraft operating within its region; and
  2. Height-keeping performance data must be correlated to an approved airframe.

In order for RMA’s to achieve this State Authorities who issue RVSM Approvals are required to notify their RMA of the Approval or Withdrawal of Approval of an aircraft.

NATCMA has established and maintains an RVSM Approvals database for the following State Authorities for which it is the designated RMA:

  • Bermuda
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Portugal

These State authorities are required to notify the NATCMA when they issue an approval, or an amendment to an approval, or the withdrawal of approval of an operator/aircraft for operations within RVSM Airspace. This can be done in one of two ways:

  1. If State Authorities have their own database of approvals information they can provide the NATCMA with an Excel or csv file containing RVSM Approval information for all aircraft on their register. This file should contain all the fields listed on the RVSM Approval form and should be emailed to the NATCMA on a monthly basis. If you require information on the best format for this file please contact us.
  2. Alternatively the information can submitted through the website on an F2 or F3 form.

RVSM Approvals Verification

The NATCMA is responsible for verifying the approval status of all aircraft operating within the NAT, not just for the 5 states that are designated to the NATCMA. To achieve this, the NATCMA combines its RVSM approvals database with the RVSM Approvals databases of the other RMA’s across the world to have a single combined RVSM Approvals database.

This combined database is then used to verify that all aircraft operating within NAT MNPS airspace at an RVSM level are authorised to do so. If any aircraft are found to be operating in the NAT and not with the relevant approval then the relevant RMA or State authority will be notified and asked to take the necessary follow-up action with the operator.