Purpose: To emphasize to operators of U.S. registered aircraft they need an Operations Specification (OpSpec), Management Specification (MSpec) or Letter of Authorization (LOA) to operate in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace outside the United States.
Currently all foreign civil aviation authorities (CAA) require operators to hold specific RVSM approval prior to conducting RVSM operations in their airspace. U.S. registered operators must have an RVSM OpSpec/MSpec/LOA B046 or LOA D098 when operating in airspace designated as RVSM when outside of the United States airspace. (Reference: 14 CFR 91.703 and ICAO Annex 6, parts I and II)
Note: Foreign CAAs do not recognize the authorization granted under Part 91 Appendix G, Section 9 as a specific approval. Therefore the Part 91 Appendix G authorization does not apply to RVSM operations outside the United States.
When operating outside the U.S., operators that do not hold a valid RVSM OpSpec, MSpec or LOAB046 or LOA D098 are not eligible to include code “W” indicating RVSM authorization, in their ATC flight plan. Operators and dispatchers should flight plan accordingly. (Reference14 CFR 91.703, 14 CFR 91.706, Part 91, Appendix G)
When operating outside the U.S. an operator may file the RVSM equipment code “W” in their flight plan if approved for RVSM operations with a valid OpSpec/MSpec/LOA B046 or LOA D098. This should be filed when intending to conduct RVSM and operating under the provisions of the specific approval.
Guidance to obtain an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA B046 can be found in Advisory Circular 91-85B - Authorization of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace.
NOTE:Effective 28 January 2021, the FAA amended LOA D098 Short-Term Operations in Airspace Requiring Specific Approval to facilitate the authorization of short-term RVSM operations, e.g. ferry, sales demonstration, test and evaluation flights, etc. See FAA Notice 8900.579.
Operators may direct questions to Aviation Safety Inspector Madison Walton, Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, at 202-267-8850.
(Flight Operations Group, Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Service, 4/19/2021)