35TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Tunis, Tunisia, 15-19 April 1996
WP No. 115
EATCHIP ATM Procedures Development Sub-Group
At the 1990 Conference the following policy statement was adopted
“Only aircraft capable of meeting the Minimum System Performance Specifications /equipment requirements upon which reduced separation is dependent be permitted to operate in areas where reduced vertical separation is in effect.”
The EATCHIP Project Board decided on the implementation of RVSM in the ECAC area with a target date of 2001.
The EATCHIP ATM Procedures Development Sub-Group (APDSG) are tasked to develop procedures needed in the transition area for RVSM in the ECAC area and required to enable the military users to fulfil their airspace requirements in an acceptable manner both for training and for operating in RVSM areas. In these discussions there is a conflict between IFATCA policy as in 1.1 and the proposal in the APDSG to permit aircraft which are not suitably equipped to transit through the airspace.
RVSM will be introduced into the North Atlantic as an operational trial on 1st Jan 1997. Full implementation will take place 1 Jan 1998. The types of aircraft flying the North Atlantic are of the modern day generation , fitted with state of the art communications and navigation .The airspace is already delineated to encompass all similar types of equipped aircraft to operate in the core area referred to as Minimum Navigation Performance Specification (MNPS). This area encompasses the airspace involved in the RVSM proposals. Therefore there will be little impact.
The target date for the implementation of RVSM between FL 290 and FL410 in the ECAC States is November 2001. Phase 2 of the implementation time table will have verification trials with 1000ft. Separation starting October 2000.
In European airspace, aircraft will have altimetry systems conforming to the altimetry Minimum Aircraft System Performance Specification (MASPS).
Considerable differences exist between the implementation of RVSM in the NAT and that of the ECAC region which will involve a much more complex airspace structure with implications on the facilities and procedures required. In addition the mix of traffic is significantly different from that existing in the NAT MNPS and obtaining MASPS approval could be much more difficult to achieve than is likely to be the case for the NAT MNPS approved aircraft.
Some State aircraft will not be in compliance with altimetry MASPS requirements. Excluding these aircraft from the RVSM area was incompatible with the Concept of Flexible Use of Airspace, whilst requiring aircraft modifications to achieve compliance, was not a realistic or cost effective solution. As a result, in order to enable State Aircraft to fulfil their airspace user requirements in an acceptable manner, suitable procedures both for transiting and for operating in RVSM areas are indispensable.
The ICAO definition of State Aircraft is “Aircraft used in military, customs and police services”.
In order to enable the state aircraft to fulfil their airspace user requirements in an acceptable manner, suitable procedures both for transiting and for operating in RVSM areas are to be developed and validated by the APDSG.
It is obvious, that this is in conflict with IFATCA policy, and places the IFATCA APDSG Representative into a position whereby they either abstain from the discussions on the basis of the policy or do we review the policy to encompass what will be proposed and implemented by EATCHIP.
To be able to accept non MASPS equipped aircraft in RVSM airspace;
Adequate procedures including FPL, R/T, Co-ordination and ATC Procedures are to be developed and validated and, ATCO’s are to be trained to work with a mixed traffic fleet in RVSM airspace.
The IFATCA policy statement is quite clear in its intent, however the intent of others is also quite clear and that non equipped aircraft will be operating in MASPS airspace .
IFATCA has a choice that it either maintains its stance , stating the current policy , or it specifies the requirements for acceptance of these new procedures.
Last Update: February 12, 2020