airplane taking off in a hazeRVSM was implemented to reduce the vertical separation above flight level (FL) 290 from 2000-ft minimum to 1000-ft minimum. It allows aircraft to safely fly more optimum profiles, gain fuel savings and increase airspace capacity. The process of safely changing the separation standard required a study to assess the actual performance of airspace users under the old vertical separation standard of 2000-ft and potential performance under the new standard 1000-ft. In 1988, the ICAO Review of General Concept of Separation Panel (RGCSP) completed this study and concluded that safe implementation of the 1000-ft separation standard was technically feasible. RVSM was subsequently implemented and today RVSM represents a global standard for 1000-ft vertical separation

United States Domestic RVSM


  • Implemented FL 290-410 January 20, 2005

Europe RVSM

  • January 24, 2002
  • FL290-410


  • Phase I: Transition September 30, 2000
  • Phase II: FL310-390 November 1, 2001
  • Phase III: FL290-410 January 24, 2002

Asia Pacific RVSM

  • Pacific:

    FL 290-390 February 24, 2000
    FL 290-410 October 5, 2000
    *FL 410 is available for non-RVSM approved flights

  • South China Sea:

    February 21, 2002

  • Asia-Europe South of the Himalayas:

    November 27, 2003


  • Phase I: FL330-370 March 27, 1997
  • Phase II: FL310-390 October 8, 1998
  • Phase III: FL290-410 January 24, 2002

RVSM Documentation

RVSM DocumentationRVSM Aircraft and Operator Approval Documentation — documents and guidance related to RVSM aircraft and operator approval

RVSM planned implementation world wide map

Additional Information

For additional information contact: or