FAA forecasts 50-75% of business aircraft flights will meet January 2005 deadline

Compliance with domestic reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) requirements is forecast to exceed expectations when the capacity-enhancing measure is introduced in US airspace on 20 January next year.

The US Federal Aviation Administration projects that between 88% and 92% of flights now conducted between flight levels 290 and 410 (29,000-41,000ft/8,800-12,500m) will be RVSM-compliant by the deadline.

The uncertainty in the forecast reflects estimates of RVSM compliance for business aircraft operators ranging from 50% to 75%.

This figure contrasts with a projected compliance based on flights now conducted in RVSM-designated airspace that will exceed 98% for major airlines and foreign carriers, and 88% for regional jets, according to FAA figures.

The US military is expected to achieve 60% compliance by the January deadline.

Business jets and turboprops account for 17% of total flights in RVSM airspace, compared with almost the 82% of flights that are conducted with the use of large transport aircraft.

After the introduction of RVSM in US domestic airspace, as well as over Canada, Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, unapproved aircraft will be able to continue operating under flight level 290 until they obtain RVSM authority.


Source: Flight International