The WATRS region is a complex, high traffic area that is comprised mostly of fixed routes with a significant number of crossings. There are two dominant traffic flows in the WATRS region. One is between North America and the Caribbean, Bermuda, and South America and the other is between the Americas and Europe. Historically, WATRS traffic has been increasing at an approximate rate of 2.8 percent per year. This trend is expected to continue and consequently, both the FAA and the users have agreed that RVSM is needed to accommodate the increased demand for optimum altitudes and routes.
At the NYOCETF meeting on 28 August 1998, the concept of applying RVSM in the New York FIR portion of the WATRS region was raised for further consideration. It was noted that Washington, Jacksonville, and Miami Centers, in response to a letter from New York Centerconcerning the use of RVSM in WATRS, had all agreed to participate in further discussions. The inclusion of these centers, especially Miami is critical to the implementation of RVSM in WATRS because of the significant number of flights that are headed to/from the WATRS airspace. WATRS is NOT MNPS airspace.
The Phase I plan expanded the FAA designated transition areas to U.S. facilities adjacent to the New York FIR with the exception of the San Juan Combined Center Radar Approach Control (CERAP). Transition airspace extended into adjacent radar-controlled portions of Miami, Jacksonville and Washington ARTCCs, and possibly FACSFAC VACAPES ("Giant Killer"). FACSFAC VACAPES is the military facility that provides ATC services for northern coastal Warning Areas, as well as AR9 (a route from Elizabeth City (ECG) to ZIBUT that is open to commercial traffic)
Phase II was defined as the implementation of RVSM for all approved aircraft in the New York FIR portion of WATRS, and the expansion of RVSM transition airspace to include the San Juan CERAP and any remaining portion of Miami Oceanic. The Phase II plan created an exclusive equipage environment in the New York FIR portion of WATRS where only RVSM approved aircraft will be allowed to operate within the RVSM altitude stratum, FL310 – 390.
The WATRS RVSM altitude stratum was expanded to FL 290-410.
The NYOCETF, formed in the 1995 has been working the WATRS RVSM issue in conjunction with industry, ATC services providers, controller and pilot associations, and the Department of Defense since 1998. For additional information on the NYOCETF, contact Mike Pumphrey 631 468-1037, New York ARTCC.
The FAA WATRS RVSM Seminar was held in Miami, FL November 15-16, 2000. Below are copies of the agenda, presentations, handouts, and the participant list. Seminar Agenda (MS Word)
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