UPDATED 08/22/2016: Excerpt from FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 4, Chapter 10, Section 1 RVSM Program Evaluation and FAA Approval:
The guidelines set in this chapter do not negate or cause the reevaluation of any previously issued RVSM authorizations. Instead, the procedures should be adopted only as operators seek new or amended RVSM authorizations subsequent to the publication of these modified guidelines.
Please see the excerpt from the response we received today from Charles Fellows at FAA/AFS360:
“The rule change has removed an application requirement. As a result of the previous requirement all RVSM authorizations were issued with a limitation that the aircraft be maintained in accordance with an approved RVSM maintenance program. Operators holding an authorization have that limitation and must continue to observe it. Operators wishing to have the limitation can apply to their certificate managing office to have their authorization reissued using the revised template. Operators that are required by other rules to have an approved maintenance or inspection program and had their approved RVSM program incorporated will need to revise their programs remaining compliant with those rules before their authorization will be reissued using an updated template.
Please contact me if I can be of any assistance and accept my apologies for any inconvenience.”
Flight Standards Service, Aircraft Maintenance Division, Avionics Branch
Office (202) 267-1706, Remote (540) 905-8274
The FAA has basically stated that previously FAA approved RVSM Maintenance Programs are to be followed and remain in effect OR the owner/operator can start and submit a new application and eventually receive approval to remove the RVSM Maintenance Manual element from the program.
This FAA Advisory Circular 91-85A supersedes 91-85 and reflects the new guidance for Authorization of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace and removes the the RVSM Maintenance Manual element/requirement and some supporting documentation for the RVSM authorization for FAA LOA/OpSpec B046 approval.
The RVSM Program and required documents remain the same as before with the exception of the Owner / Operator specific RVSM Maintenance Program element and a few less pages of required supporting documentation. We should see a reduced turn-around time for the RVSM B046 LOA / OpSpec approval depending on the FAA office’s workload.
This rule will be effective August 19th, 2016. Several source documents have already been updated. The FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 4, Chapter 10, Section 1 is the final update and is pending with a new effective date as per our discussions with several Principal Avionics Inspectors at Den FSDO, Los Angeles IFO, and CMU 67.