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AIM

10/12/17

4

−6−3

Operational Policy/Procedures for Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) in the
Domestic U.S., Alaska, Offshore Airspace and the San Juan FIR

Plan suffixes to indicate navigation and communica-
tion capabilities. The equipment suffixes in
TBL 5

−1−3 are for use only in an FAA Flight Plan

(FAA Form 7233

−1).

2.

Operators/aircraft that file ICAO flight plans

that include flight in Domestic U.S. RVSM airspace
must file “/W” in block 10 to indicate RVSM
authorization.

e.

Importance of Flight Plan Equipment Suffixes.

The operator must file the appropriate equipment
suffix in the equipment block of the FAA Flight Plan
(FAA Form 7233

−1) or the ICAO Flight Plan. The

equipment suffix informs ATC:

1.

Whether or not the operator and aircraft are

authorized to fly in RVSM airspace.

2.

The navigation and/or transponder capability

of the aircraft (e.g., advanced RNAV, transponder
with Mode C).

f.

Significant ATC uses of the flight plan

equipment suffix information are:

1.

To issue or deny clearance into RVSM

airspace.

2.

To apply a 2,000 foot vertical separation

minimum in RVSM airspace to aircraft that are not
authorized for RVSM, but are in one of the limited
categories that the FAA has agreed to accommodate.
(See Paragraphs 4

−6−10, Procedures for Accommo-

dation of Non

−RVSM Aircraft, and 4−6−11,

Non

−RVSM Aircraft Requesting Climb to and

Descent from Flight Levels Above RVSM Airspace
Without Intermediate Level Off,  for policy on limited
operation of unapproved aircraft in RVSM airspace).

3.

To determine if the aircraft has “Advanced

RNAV” capabilities and can be cleared to fly
procedures for which that capability is required.

g.

Improperly changing an aircraft equipment

suffix and/or adding “NON-RVSM” in the NOTES or
REMARKS section (Field 18) while not removing
the “W” from Field 10, will not provide air traffic
control with the proper visual indicator necessary to
detect Non-RVSM aircraft. To ensure information
processes correctly for Non-RVSM aircraft, the “W”
in Field 10 must be removed. Entry of information in
the NOTES or REMARKS section (Field 18) will not
affect the determination of RVSM capability and
must not be used to indicate a flight is Non-RVSM.

4

−6−5. Pilot RVSM Operating Practices and

Procedures

a. RVSM Mandate.

If either the operator or the

aircraft or both have not received RVSM authoriza-
tion (non

−RVSM aircraft), the pilot will neither

request nor accept a clearance into RVSM airspace
unless:

1.

The flight is conducted by a non

−RVSM

DOD, MEDEVAC, certification/development or
foreign State (government) aircraft in accordance
with Paragraph 4

−6−10, Procedures for Accommo-

dation of Non

−RVSM Aircraft.

2.

The pilot intends to climb to or descend from

FL 430 or above in accordance with Para-
graph 4

−6−11, Non−RVSM Aircraft Requesting

Climb to and Descent from Flight Levels Above
RVSM Airspace Without Intermediate Level Off.

3.

An emergency situation exists.

b. Basic RVSM Operating Practices and

Procedures.

Appendix B of AC 91

−85, Authoriza-

tion of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced
Vertical Separation Minimum Airspace,

 contains

pilot practices and procedures for RVSM. Operators
must incorporate Appendix B practices and proce-
dures, as supplemented by the applicable paragraphs
of this section, into operator training or pilot
knowledge programs and operator documents
containing RVSM operational policies.

c.

Appendix B contains practices and procedures

for flight planning, preflight procedures at the
aircraft, procedures prior to RVSM airspace entry,
inflight (en route) procedures, contingency proce-
dures and post flight.

d.

The following paragraphs either clarify or

supplement Appendix B practices and procedures.

4

−6−6. Guidance on Severe Turbulence

and Mountain Wave Activity (MWA)

a. Introduction/Explanation

1.

The information and practices in this

paragraph are provided to emphasize to pilots and
controllers the importance of taking appropriate
action in RVSM airspace when aircraft experience
severe turbulence and/or MWA that is of sufficient
magnitude to significantly affect altitude

−keeping.

2. Severe Turbulence.

Severe turbulence

causes large, abrupt changes in altitude and/or