Airservices Australia is planning to extend its reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) programme to the Melbourne and Brisbane flight information regions in November.

RVSM, which increases airspace capacity by reducing vertical separation distances, was implemented throughout the Pacific in February 2000. RVSM will be operational between flight level 290 and FL410 (29,000ft-41,000ft/ 8,840m-12,500m) inclusive where 1,000ft separation standards will be applied instead of 2,000ft.

Australia plans to implement a non-exclusive airspace model for RVSM, whereby non-RVSM-approved aircraft will be able to submit flight plans for the RVSM flight levels, but clearance in the RVSM airspace will be based on the disposition of traffic and RVSM-approved aircraft will be given priority. Conventional separation minima will apply to non-RVSM-approved aircraft.

Australia's RVSM programme is one of a number of similar projects taking place worldwide as air traffic services providers try to boost airspace capacity.

Source: Flight International