How your aircraft is operated determines the specific RVSM approval requirements. Part 91 regulations require the aircraft operator to have a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for operations in RVSM airspace and an FAA approved RVSM maintenance program. The LOA will specify that the operator is authorized to conduct operations within the airspace designated as RVSM airspace within the limitations of the LOA. It also specifies the:
- Authorized airplanes the operator is authorized to use in designated RVSM airspace
- Crew Training Requirements
- Responsible Person
- Any deviation to RVSM requirements the operator must follow
The LOA specifically states that in order to exercise your RVSM authority, the operator must maintain their aircraft in accordance with their FAA approved RVSM maintenance program.
The LOA is usually signed by the FAA Principal Inspector for the operator and the Responsible Person for the 91 operator.
Part 91 regulations (fractional operators) require the aircraft operator to have their Management Specifications state that they may operate in RVSM airspace as long as they follow their FAA approved RVSM maintenance program.
Part 121 and 135 regulations require the aircraft operators have their Operation Specifications which state that they are authorized for operations in RVSM airspace.
Your FAA approved RVSM maintenance program may be a part of your GMM. In this instance, the RVSM section must have a separate FAA approval.
Approval of the operator’s RVSM manual in most instances is accomplished by your local FAA Flight Standards District Office stamping the manual approved and affixing the inspector’s signature.