Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), page 267

Index   266 -- Page 267 -- 268

12/10/15                                                                                                 AIM

Plan suffixes to indicate navigation and communica-       4-6-5. Pilot RVSM Operating Practices and
tion capabilities. The equipment suffixes in              Procedures
TBL 5-1-3 are for use only in an FAA Flight Plan
                                                             a. RVSM Mandate. If either the operator or the
(FAA Form 7233-1).
                                                          aircraft or both have not received RVSM authoriza-
     2. Operators/aircraft that file ICAO flight plans    tion (non-RVSM aircraft), the pilot will neither
that include flight in Domestic U.S. RVSM airspace        request nor accept a clearance into RVSM airspace
must file "/W" in block 10 to indicate RVSM               unless:
authorization.                                                 1. The flight is conducted by a non-RVSM
  e. Importance of Flight Plan Equipment Suffixes.        DOD, MEDEVAC, certification/development or
The operator must file the appropriate equipment          foreign State (government) aircraft in accordance
suffix in the equipment block of the FAA Flight Plan      with Paragraph 4-6-10, Procedures for Accommo-
(FAA Form 7233-1) or the ICAO Flight Plan. The            dation of Non-RVSM Aircraft.
equipment suffix informs ATC:                                 2. The pilot intends to climb to or descend from
                                                          FL 430 or above in accordance with Para-
    1. Whether or not the operator and aircraft are
                                                          graph 4-6-11, Non-RVSM Aircraft Requesting
authorized to fly in RVSM airspace.
                                                          Climb to and Descent from Flight Levels Above
     2. The navigation and/or transponder capability      RVSM Airspace Without Intermediate Level Off.
of the aircraft (e.g., advanced RNAV, transponder             3. An emergency situation exists.
with Mode C).
                                                             b. Basic RVSM Operating Practices and
  f. Significant ATC uses of the flight plan              Procedures. Appendix B of AC 91-85, Authoriza-
equipment suffix information are:                         tion of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced
     1. To issue or deny clearance into RVSM              Vertical Separation Minimum Airspace, contains
airspace.                                                 pilot practices and procedures for RVSM. Operators
                                                          must incorporate Appendix B practices and proce-
    2. To apply a 2,000 foot vertical separation          dures, as supplemented by the applicable paragraphs
minimum in RVSM airspace to aircraft that are not         of this section, into operator training or pilot
authorized for RVSM, but are in one of the limited        knowledge programs and operator documents
categories that the FAA has agreed to accommodate.        containing RVSM operational policies.
(See Paragraphs 4-6-10, Procedures for Accommo-
                                                             c. Appendix B contains practices and procedures
dation of Non-RVSM Aircraft, and 4-6-11,
                                                          for flight planning, preflight procedures at the
Non-RVSM Aircraft Requesting Climb to and
                                                          aircraft, procedures prior to RVSM airspace entry,
Descent from Flight Levels Above RVSM Airspace
                                                          inflight (en route) procedures, contingency proce-
Without Intermediate Level Off, for policy on limited
                                                          dures and post flight.
operation of unapproved aircraft in RVSM airspace).
                                                            d. The following paragraphs either clarify or
    3. To determine if the aircraft has "Advanced         supplement Appendix B practices and procedures.
RNAV" capabilities and can be cleared to fly
procedures for which that capability is required.         4-6-6. Guidance on Severe Turbulence
   g. Improperly changing an aircraft equipment           and Mountain Wave Activity (MWA)
suffix and/or adding "NON-RVSM" in the NOTES or             a. Introduction/Explanation
REMARKS section (Field 18) while not removing
the "W" from Field 10, will not provide air traffic            1. The information and practices in this
control with the proper visual indicator necessary to     paragraph are provided to emphasize to pilots and
detect Non-RVSM aircraft. To ensure information           controllers the importance of taking appropriate
processes correctly for Non-RVSM aircraft, the "W"        action in RVSM airspace when aircraft experience
in Field 10 must be removed. Entry of information in      severe turbulence and/or MWA that is of sufficient
the NOTES or REMARKS section (Field 18) will not          magnitude to significantly affect altitude-keeping.
affect the determination of RVSM capability and               2. Severe Turbulence. Severe turbulence
must not be used to indicate a flight is Non-RVSM.        causes large, abrupt changes in altitude and/or

Operational Policy/Procedures for Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) in the                     4-6-3
Domestic U.S., Alaska, Offshore Airspace and the San Juan FIR

Page 267 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM.pdf)
AIM: Official Guide to Basic Flight Information and ATC Procedures

Index   266 -- Page 267 -- 268