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FAA Streamlines RVSM Procedures

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The FAA on Monday announced new procedures that will make it easier for operators to get approval to operate in RVSM airspace. "The new policy establishes a more flexible and efficient process," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. NBAA said it has been lobbying for the changes for several years. "Earlier guidance dictated that an inspection had to always begin at square one -- even for something as minor as a tail-number change," said NBAA's Mark Larsen. Huerta said the FAA now will consider previous operator and aircraft experience in determining the extent of an evaluation, and this will reduce the amount of time for operators to receive authorization. The new policy will benefit both aircraft operators and the FAA, according to NBAA.

Since 2005, RVSM -- reduced vertical separation minimums -- has allowed pilots in domestic airspace to fly with 1,000 feet of vertical separation rather than the previous 2,000 feet, at altitudes above 28,000 feet MSL. Larsen said NBAA is hopeful that "the lessons learned in developing this process can be applied to the broad range of other required approvals for business aircraft operations."

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