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Operational Policy/Procedures for Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) in the

Domestic U.S., Alaska, Offshore Airspace and the San Juan FIR

Transponder Failure

Pilot will:

Controller will:

Contact ATC and request authority to continue

to operate at cleared flight level

Comply with revised ATC clearance, if issued

Consider request to continue to operate at

cleared flight level

Issue revised clearance, if necessary

14 CFR Section 91.215 (ATC transponder and altitude
reporting equipment and use) regulates operation with the
transponder inoperative.

4−6−10. Procedures for Accommodation of

Non−RVSM Aircraft

a. General Policies for Accommodation of

Non−RVSM Aircraft

1. The RVSM mandate calls for only RVSM

authorized aircraft/operators to fly in designated

RVSM airspace with limited exceptions. The policies

detailed below are intended exclusively for use by

aircraft that the FAA has agreed to accommodate.

They are not intended to provide other operators a

means to circumvent the normal RVSM approval


2. If either the operator or aircraft or both have

not been authorized to conduct RVSM operations, the

aircraft will be referred to as a “non−RVSM” aircraft.

14 CFR Section 91.180 and Part 91 Appendix G

enable the FAA to authorize a deviation to operate a

non−RVSM aircraft in RVSM airspace.

3. Non−RVSM aircraft flights will be handled

on a workload permitting basis. The vertical

separation standard applied between aircraft not

approved for RVSM and all other aircraft must be

2,000 feet.

4. Required Pilot Calls. The pilot of non−

RVSM aircraft will inform the controller of the lack

of RVSM approval in accordance with the direction

provided in Paragraph 4−6−8, Pilot/Controller


b. Categories of Non−RVSM Aircraft that may

be Accommodated
Subject to FAA approval and clearance, the following

categories of non−RVSM aircraft may operate in

domestic U.S. RVSM airspace provided they have an

operational transponder.

1. Department of Defense (DOD) aircraft.
2. Flights conducted for aircraft certification

and development purposes.

3. Active air ambulance flights utilizing a

“MEDEVAC” call sign.

4. Aircraft climbing/descending through

RVSM flight levels (without intermediate level off)

to/from FLs above RVSM airspace (Policies for these

flights are detailed in Paragraph 4−6−11, Non−RVSM

Aircraft Requesting Climb to and Descent from

Flight Levels Above RVSM Airspace Without

Intermediate Level Off.

5. Foreign State (government) aircraft.

c. Methods for operators of  non−RVSM aircraft to

request access to RVSM Airspace. Operators may:

1. LOA/MOU. Enter into a Letter of Agree-

ment (LOA)/Memorandum of Understanding

(MOU) with the RVSM facility (the Air Traffic

facility that provides air traffic services in RVSM

airspace). Operators must comply with LOA/MOU.

2. File−and−Fly. File a flight plan to notify the

FAA of their intention to request access to RVSM



Priority for access to RVSM airspace will be afforded to

RVSM compliant aircraft, then File−and−Fly flights.