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AT Briefing DRVSM Overview. Steve Creamer AT DRVSM Program Manager, ATP-6. Briefing Overview. Outcomes for the Week Review DRVSM Program Objectives, Content and Priority Facility-Specific Issues and Implementation Plan. Outcomes for the Week.

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At briefing drvsm overview l.jpg

AT BriefingDRVSM Overview

Steve Creamer

AT DRVSM Program Manager, ATP-6

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Briefing Overview

  • Outcomes for the Week

  • Review DRVSM Program Objectives, Content and Priority

  • Facility-Specific Issues and Implementation Plan

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Outcomes for the Week

  • Establish tailored facility action plans for each ATM

  • Create communications structure for program management and implementation

    • Resource needs

    • Reporting progress

    • Issue identification and resolution

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RVSM AirspaceNon-RVSM Airspace


FL 410

FL 400

FL 400

FL 390

FL 390


FL 380

FL 370

FL 370

FL 360

FL 360

FL 350

FL 350

FL 340

FL 340

FL 330

FL 330

FL 310

FL 300

FL 320

FL 320

FL 310

FL 300

FL 290

FL 290

RVSM Altitudes

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DRVSM Program Objectives

  • Implement DRVSM from FL290-FL410 in the airspace of the United States, Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico where the FAA provides air traffic services and the San Juan FIR.

  • DRVSM is proposed to be implemented on January 20, 2005 0901UTC.

  • Six new altitudes available immediately upon implementation – new “capacity” for solving separation problems via new “capacity” for traffic growth.

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Operator Costs 2002 - 2016

  • Operator Costs for Aircraft Approval:

    • Large Transport Aircraft: $206 million

    • Small Commercial/GA: $530 million

    • Downtime if work not accomplished

      during scheduled Mx $74 million

    • TCAS II, Version 7.0 upgrade $46 million

    • Monitoring $4 million

  • Major operators started RVSM work in 2002

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Benefits 2004 - 2018

  • Fuel Savings and Operating Efficiency Benefits 2005 – 2019:

    • $5 billion

    • 6/1 benefit/cost ratio

    • $393 m. first year savings---2.0% annual increase

  • Benefits to air traffic operations:

    • ATC Flexibility

    • Mitigate conflict points

    • Enhance sector throughput (not “capacity”)

    • Reduce controller workload…e.g., reduce vectoring

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NAS Operational Evolution Plan

  • DRVSM is para ER-4 in NAS OEP

  • Principle Office of Delivery (POD):

    • Director, Flight Standards Service AFS-1


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Joint Implementation with Mexico, Canada and Others

  • Preparedness of Mexico, Canada, and the United States for a simultaneous implementation of RVSM.

  • Procedural development for bordering ATC facilities.

  • Consistency of training for RVSM among our three countries.

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RVSM Implemented & PlannedAs of April 2003

Canada North


Canada South


Europe 1/02

Domestic US


NAT 3/97

Mid East







Corridor 1/02

WATRS 11/01

**Western Pacific

South China Sea



South of Himalayas 11/ 03





** Western Pacific/South China Sea

February 2002 Implementation Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Phnom Penh, Sanya, Singapore, Taipei

October 2002 Implementation Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Ujung Pandang, Vientiane



V. 6.8 5-23-02

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DRVSM Environment

  • Airspace will be exclusionary for DRVSM approved aircraft with the exception of accommodating DoD, Lifeguard and aircraft flown by manufacturers for certification and development

  • OtherNon-RVSM approved aircraft may climb or descend in transition through RVSM airspace.

  • ALL Non-RVSM approved operations are conducted based upon workload conditions.

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Memorandum of UnderstandingFAA and DoD

  • Memorandum of Understanding signed between FAA and DoD in December 2001.

  • Agreement governs the use of DRVSM Airspace by DoD aircraft.

  • Policy: The FAA will accommodate non-compliant DoD aircraft operation within DRVSM airspace.

    Note: Large DoD transport and tanker fleets are already RVSM compliant

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Third (and Final) DRVSM Simulation

  • The third simulation was completed in June 2003 and focused on:

    • Assessing and evaluation DRAFT procedures and phraseology for RVSM implementation.

    • Assessing impact of tactical use of RVSM prior to full implementation.

    • Gaining insight for development of training plans.

  • Results:

    • Tactical use prior to full implementation not practical.

    • Training requirement quantified.

    • Validated procedures.

  • Note: Requiring non-RVSM approved aircraft to advise “negative RVSM” on frequency check in very helpful.

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Separation Applied Between Non-RVSM and RVSM Aircraft Within RVSM Airspace

RVSM approved aircraft

FL 390


FL 380

Non-RVSM approved DoD aircraft

FL 370


FL 360

RVSM approved aircraft

FL 350

RVSM approved aircraft

FL 340

RVSM approved aircraft

FL 330

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Major Milestones RVSM Airspace

  • Publish Final Rule Soon

  • Safety Assessment July 2004

  • Operational Readiness September 2004

    Assessment (Go/Delay)

  • RVSM Implementation January 2005

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Full Data Block – Non-RVSM RVSM Airspace

  • HOST, DARCand DSR modifications in progress to support the visual cue for the controller display to enable a ready distinction between RVSM approved and non-RVSM approved aircraft. Note: The visual cue will be applied to non-RVSM aircraft because it is anticipated that they will comprise less than 5-10% of the flights operating at RVSM altitudes.


350 347

056 380

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Other RVSM AirspaceNAS Automation Modifications

HOST modifications to the Operational Error Detection Patch, (Conflict Alert) to accommodate DRVSM.

URET Software change to display RVSM status and to support differences in trajectory modeling

ETMS – CDM proposing filter to sort on non-approved aircraft.

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ATC Procedures Workgroup RVSM Airspace

  • Certified Professional Controllers participated in an ATC procedures workgroup March 4-6, 2003.

  • Validated Procedures in Third Simulation.

  • Coordination with industry of proposed new/revised procedures will be through the DCP process.

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ATC Procedural Issues RVSM Airspace

Routine RVSM procedures to manage RVSM airspace.

Process to climb/descend non-RVSM aircraft through RVSM airspace.

Accommodation of DoD, State and Lifeguard aircraft.

Coordination responsibilities, i.e. point outs between sector strata’s.

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Turbulence Mitigation RVSM Airspace

Operating Concept:Operations within Greater than Moderate (Severe) turbulence should not be supported for routine operations.

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Severe Turbulence RVSM Airspace

  • Conditions can be forecast, but advance action is not planned in tactical (RADAR) environment. If controllers are receiving reports of severe turbulence they should be routing aircraft around the area as they do today.

  • Aircraft encounters with severe turbulence will cause ATC action to move aircraft out of the phenomenon. While experiencing severe turbulence, pilots can expect ATC initiated vectors to avoid merging targets at 1,000 ft. vertical separation.

  • Separation standards do not change in RADAR environment.

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Light, Moderate and RVSM AirspaceWake Turbulence

  • Pilot reports of turbulence less than severe will trigger higher level priority for controllers to issue traffic advisories when 1,000 ft. separation is applied. Pilots may request vectors to avoid merging targets.

  • Wake turbulence can be mitigated with request for offset or other action by ATC.

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Mountain Wave Activity RVSM Airspace

  • Response is just like turbulence, except that the severity of mountain wave is not defined in terms that are easily described.

  • Forecast MWA will not trigger suspension of RVSM

  • Pilots must assess impact of activity on altitude hold capability and request vectors to avoid merging targets. Pilots will report clear when no longer desiring vectoring.

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AT Lessons Learned RVSM AirspaceFrom human-in-the-loop simulations and RVSM experiences

  • Avoid making any unnecessary airspace changes concurrent with DRVSM

  • Workload:

    • Controllers initially assume RVSM increases workload due to additional altitudes

    • Actual experience indicates it reduces workload for high altitude sectors

      • More altitudes, but no more aircraft

      • Fewer conflictions, less vectoring, and less verbal communications

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AT Lessons Learned (cont.) RVSM Airspace

  • Need to assess sectors with altitudes below FL290

    • There may be some compression due to the pushdown effect of non-approved aircraft

    • To be addressed in airspace analysis and flow plan

  • 18 controllers from 3 sites have indicated DRVSM is win-win

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Lessons Learned (cont.) RVSM Airspace

  • Non-approved aircraft in RVSM airspace must be managed

    • EUROCONTROL experience: more than 1 or 2 in a sector is unviable

    • Add to controller’s cognitive workload

  • Misunderstanding of exclusionary airspace: applies during slow traffic periods including when workload is light

    • Controllers tend to want to clear non-approved aircraft into RVSM airspace if their sector can accommodate

    • Could be problematic for upstream sectors

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Lessons Learned (cont.) RVSM Airspace

  • Importance of APREQs for non-approved aircraft in RVSM airspace must be stressed

    • Apply to all non-approved, not just military and lifeguard

  • SOPs and LOAs key to training

  • Approximately 3 – 4 hours of simulation time appears adequate for most controllers, but some may need more or less

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Implementation Date RVSM AirspaceFactors

  • 4,800 aircraft (32% of operations) already approved

  • New airframes now delivered RVSM ready

  • Project 90% of flights to be conducted by RVSM approved aircraft by January 2005 timeframe

  • $393 m. first year fuel savings and ATM benefits at stake

  • Aircraft Engineering Packages available for most aircraft

  • Non-group/unique airframe process available

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FAA HQ Deliverables (1) RVSM Airspace

  • International Agreements with Mexico, Canada and Caribbean States

  • National Procedures, Order Changes and Briefing Guides

  • NAS Automation Changes

  • Analysis support within Airspace Redesign for sectorization changes

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FAA HQ Deliverables (2) RVSM Airspace

  • ATFM Flow Plans for Initial Operations

    • Non-Approved Aircraft biggest liability

    • Flight Planning compression could overload sectors

  • Training Plan templates

  • National CADRE training instruction

  • Facilitation of local coordination to prepare for implementation (workshops, telecons, templates)

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FAA HQ Deliverables (3) RVSM Airspace

  • Labor I&I negotiation

  • Funding support for simultaneous national training effort

  • Any other assistance required to keep program on track!

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Regional & Facility Deliverables RVSM Airspace

  • Revisions to Virtually all En Route LOAs and SOPs

  • Local validation that all NAS automation changes thoroughly tested and properly implemented

  • Simultaneous DYSIM Training by CADRE of Instructors for over 9,000 controllers

  • Local labor I&I on issues not covered by national agreements

  • Local coordination with industry within established forums

  • Leadership to keep program on track!!

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Chronology of Key Work RVSM Airspace

  • 07/03 Mountain Wave Contingency Plan Development

  • 09/03 Final Report from Simulation 3

  • 09/03 ATFM Work within CDM Workgroup – Amanda Stott developing strategy for Jack Kies

  • 09/03 Airspace Work Commences Within Auspices of NAR - SALT will be national focal for this

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Chronology of Key Work RVSM Airspace

  • 10/03 DCP with 7110.65 changes

    • Basic flight level assignment scheme

    • Application of 1,000 ft. separation between approved aircraft, 2,000 ft. if any are not.

    • Stratified sector base-ceiling point out and handoff procedures

    • Wake turbulence mitigation procedures (currently planning merging target)

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Chronology of Key Work RVSM Airspace

  • 10/03 DCP with 7210.3 changes

    • Policy provisions prohibiting non-approved operation without qualified exception:

    • DOD

    • Lifeguard

    • Certification or ferry flights

    • Climb-thru of non-approved to FL430.

    • National reporting and monitoring of ALL non-approved operations in airspace.

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Chronology of Key Work RVSM Airspace

  • 10/03 DCP with AIM changes

    • Includes flight plan filing

    • Standard ICAO filing is planned - need to support /Q combination for the remaining

    • Includes pilot procedures

      • Wake turbulence offsets with ATC approval

      • Severe turbulence handled as convective weather event in RADAR

      • Standard ICAO procedures for declaring RVSM status, except reviewing mandatory declaration of "Non-RVSM" on initial contact at each ATC frequency while at or cleared to FL290-410.

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Chronology of Key Work RVSM Airspace

  • 10/03 Proposing Formation of North American RVSM Planning Group (NARPG)

    • Task: Benchmarking process for equipage, safety assessment, operational readiness

    • Membership

      • U.S. (FAA), Canada (NAVCANADA) and Mexico (SENEAM)

      • Industry representation (ATA, NBAA, AOPA, etc)

      • Union participation through industry groups

      • At least 6 quarterly meetings commencing Jan ’04.

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Chronology of Key Work RVSM Airspace

  • Automation Test and Integration (WJHTC) (Oct. – Dec. 03)

  • Intrafacility airspace/procedures analysis – (Nov. – Dec.)

  • Interfacility airspace/procedures analysis – (Jan. – Feb.)

  • SME Training (Feb. 04)

  • Interfacility Procedures Workshops Begin (Mar. 04)

  • Modeling (SDAT level) as needed – (Apr. – Jun.)

  • Readiness Assessment (Sep. 04)

  • Publication of changed documents, NOTAMS, etc. (Nov. 04)

  • Finalize airspace assignments/changes – (Jul. – Sep. 04)

  • Final Training (Oct. – Dec. 04)

  • January 20, 2005 Implementation

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Coordination Process Between HQ and the Field RVSM Airspace

  • Sites appoint DRVSM POCs

    • Serve as the facility’s interface to ATP and to local workforce

    • Agency and NATCA name POCs by 10/24

  • Site-specific schedules:

    • Build upon schedule materials provided this week

    • Forward to ATP-6

    • Serves as tracking vehicle

  • Monthly planning and status telecons

    • Beginning 11/03

    • Scheduled and facilitated by DRVSM co-leads

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Conclusion RVSM Airspace

  • FAA committed to successful DRVSM implementation in the National Airspace System.

    • Flight Standards is OEP “Point of Delivery”, but responsibility and critical path tasks will all be AAT in last half of 2004

  • Program involves everyone in AAT – Regions, ATP, ATX, ATA, ATT

  • Regional and Field Facility Commitment & Involvement Key to Successful Implementation