Use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out in Support of Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Operations, 65487-65493 [2018-27401]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 245 / Friday, December 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received. Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference This document amends FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points. The Rule This amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Sioux County Regional Airport, Maurice, IA, to accommodate new standard instrument approach procedures developed for the airport, for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. Regulatory Notices and Analyses amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows: ■ Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. * * * * ACE IA E5 Maurice, IA [New] Sioux County Regional Airport, IA (Lat. 42°59′09″ N, long. 096°09′41″ W) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of the Sioux County Regional Airport. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 13, 2018. John Witucki, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center. [FR Doc. 2018–27562 Filed 12–20–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA–2017–0782; Amdt. No. 91–354] RIN 2120–AK87 Environmental Review The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ paragraph 5–6.5.a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment. 16:23 Dec 20, 2018 Adoption of the Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows: * The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. VerDate Sep<11>2014 Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air). Jkt 247001 Use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast (ADS–B) Out in Support of Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Operations Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This action revises the FAA’s requirements for application to operate SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 65487 in RVSM airspace. The amendment eliminates the requirement for operators to apply for an RVSM authorization when their aircraft are equipped with qualified ADS–B Out systems and meet specific altitude keeping equipment requirements for operations in RVSM airspace. This action recognizes the enhancements in aircraft monitoring resulting from the use of ADS–B Out systems and responds to requests from operators to eliminate the burden and expense of the current RVSM application process for aircraft equipped with qualified ADS–B Out systems. DATES: Effective January 22, 2019. ADDRESSES: For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking documents and other information related to this final rule, see ‘‘How To Obtain Additional Information’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions concerning this action, contact Madison Walton, Aviation Safety Inspector, Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Services, AFS–400, Federal Aviation Administration, 470 L’Enfant Plaza, Suite 4102, Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267–8850; email Madison.Walton@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules with respect to aviation safety is found in Title 49, United States Code (49 U.S.C.). Sections 106(f), 40113(a), and 44701(a) authorize the FAA Administrator to prescribe regulations necessary for aviation safety. Under Section 40103(b), the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to enhance the efficiency of the national airspace. This rulemaking is within the scope of these authorities as it removes regulatory requirements that the FAA no longer finds necessary for safe operations in RVSM airspace and establishes requirements for the use of qualified ADS–B Out systems to facilitate operations in that airspace. I. Overview of Final Rule This action amends Appendix G of part 91 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) to permit an operator of an aircraft equipped with a qualified ADS–B Out system meeting altitude keeping equipment performance requirements for operations in RVSM airspace to operate in that airspace without requiring a specific authorization. Under this action, the FAA considers a qualified ADS–B Out system to be one that meets E:\FR\FM\21DER1.SGM 21DER1 65488 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 245 / Friday, December 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES the requirements of 14 CFR 91.227. The FAA is taking this action based on the technological advances provided by ADS–B Out systems. As a result of these advances, detailed applications and specific authorizations for operators of these aircraft to conduct operations in RVSM airspace are no longer necessary. The amendment also removes the detailed designations of airspace where revised RVSM may be applied that were previously found in Appendix G of part 91. II. Background Vertical separation standards establish the minimum vertical distance between aircraft routes in the National Airspace System. In the early 1970’s, increasing air-traffic volume and fuel costs sparked an interest in reducing vertical separation standards for aircraft operating above Flight Level (FL) 290. At the time, the FAA required aircraft operating above FL 290 to maintain a minimum of 2,000 feet of vertical separation between routes. Use of these high-altitude routes was desirable because the diminished atmospheric drag at high altitudes results in a corresponding increase in aircraft fuel efficiency. Operators sought, and continue to seek, not only the most direct routes, but also the most efficient altitudes for their aircraft. Increased demand for these high-altitude routes, however, has resulted in greater aircraft congestion in this airspace. In 1973, the Air Transport Association of America petitioned the FAA to reduce the vertical separation of high altitude routes from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet. The FAA denied the petition in 1977, in part because the technology to meet these more rigorous separation standards was neither generally available nor proven. Deficiencies included insufficient aircraft altitudekeeping standards, lack of maintenance and operational standards, and limited altitude correction technology. In mid-1981, the FAA initiated the Vertical Studies Program. This program, in conjunction with RTCA (formerly the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) Special Committee (SC)– 150 and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Review of General Concept of Separation Panel, determined: • RVSM is ‘‘technically feasible without imposing unreasonably demanding technical requirements on the equipment.’’ • RVSM could provide ‘‘significant benefits in terms of economy and enroute airspace capacity.’’ • Implementation of RVSM would require ‘‘sound operational judgment VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:23 Dec 20, 2018 Jkt 247001 supported by an assessment of system performance based on: aircraft altitudekeeping capability, operational considerations, system performance monitoring, and risk assessment.’’ Following these determinations, the FAA began a two-phase implementation process for RVSM operations for aircraft registered in the United States. During the first phase in 1997, the FAA added § 91.706 (Operations within airspace designed as RVSM Airspace) and Appendix G (Operations in RVSM Airspace) of part 91 (62 FR 17487; Apr. 9, 1997). Section 91.706 permits operators of U.S.-registered aircraft to operate in RVSM airspace outside of the United States (U.S.) in accordance with the provisions of Appendix G. Appendix G contains a set of operational, design, maintenance, and other standards applicable to operators seeking to operate in RVSM airspace. It specifies a detailed application process that requires an operator to provide evidence that the operator’s aircraft design satisfies RVSM performance requirements and the operator has policies and procedures for the safe conduct of RVSM operations. Until recently, it also required that the operator have a specific program for the maintenance of RVSM systems and equipment. The FAA reviews the applications and grants authorizations to operate in RVSM airspace after finding that the applicable requirements are met. The second phase of RVSM implementation occurred in October 2003, with a second RVSM-related rulemaking action (68 FR 61304; Oct. 27, 2003). This rule introduced RVSM airspace in the U.S. and used the same authorization process previously established under Appendix G of part 91. As established in 2003, the FAA’s RVSM program allows for 1,000 feet of vertical separation for aircraft between FL 290 and FL 410. Before the 2003 final rule, air traffic controllers could only assign aircraft operating under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flying at FL 290 and above to FL 290, 310, 330, 350, 370, 390, and 410 since the existing vertical separation standard was 2,000 feet. After the rule changes went into effect, IFR aircraft could also fly at FL 300, 320, 340, 360, 380, and 400—nearly doubling capacity within this particular segment of airspace. The FAA also implemented a performance-monitoring program to support implementation of RVSM. This program included Global Positioning System based height-keeping monitoring units capable of being deployed onboard aircraft during individual RVSM flights. Later, in 2005, PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the FAA deployed the first of five passive ground-based aircraft geometric height measurement element sites in the continental U.S. to conduct heightkeeping performance monitoring of aircraft passing over each site. Other civil aviation authorities throughout the world have also developed similar height monitoring sites. In 2008, the FAA reviewed its RVSM program and operator authorization policies. At that time, there were more than 7,000 active RVSM authorizations, covering in excess of 15,000 U.S.registered aircraft. The FAA’s evaluation found the existing processes ensured compliance with the RVSM operating requirements. At the same time however, FAA representatives began meeting with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to develop ways to streamline the RVSM application process to lower the burden on operators to obtain RVSM authorizations and reduce the FAA’s workload associated with processing and granting these authorizations. The parties formed the RVSM Process Enhancement Team (PET) within the Performance Based Aviation Rulemaking Committee. The PET submitted its final recommendations to the FAA in 2013. As a result, the FAA revised existing policies and guidance to facilitate more efficient processing of requests to change existing authorizations and created a job aid to assist inspectors in standardizing reviews of operator applications. The FAA also completed rulemaking in 2016 to further reduce the burden on applicants by eliminating the requirement that RVSM applicants include an approved RVSM maintenance program as part of an application for an RVSM authorization (81 FR 47009, July 20, 2016). RVSM technology has matured and most aircraft manufactured today that are capable of operating in RVSM airspace are delivered from the manufacturer as RVSM compliant. RVSM airspace has been implemented worldwide, familiarity with operational policy and procedures has significantly increased, and the vast majority of the RVSM capable fleet demonstrates excellent altimetry system performance. Additionally, the increasing equipage of aircraft with ADS–B Out systems makes the current process of obtaining RVSM authorizations for operation of these aircraft in RVSM airspace unnecessary, as ADS–B Out enables continual monitoring of aircraft height-keeping performance and rapid notification of altimetry system error (ASE). Currently operators are required to be issued a specific RVSM authorization by E:\FR\FM\21DER1.SGM 21DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 245 / Friday, December 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES the FAA’s Flight Standards Service prior to operating in RVSM airspace. Until an operator’s application is processed and the authorization issued, the operator cannot operate in RVSM designated airspace, Flight Levels (FL) 290–410 inclusive. During the application processing period, the aircraft may only be operated at FL 280 and below. Aircraft operations at lower altitudes are less efficient due to their higher fuel burn rates and lower true airspeeds. A. Summary of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) In August 2017, the FAA issued an NPRM (82 FR 36697; August 7, 2017) that proposed to amend the FAA’s application requirements to operate in RVSM airspace. In that NPRM, the FAA proposed to amend Appendix G of 14 CFR part 91 to: • Add a new Section 9 (Aircraft Equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out) to authorize operators of aircraft, equipped with qualified ADS–B Out systems (i.e., systems that meet the requirements of § 91.227) that can be monitored by the FAA to conduct RVSM operations without submitting an application for an authorization to operate in RVSM airspace. • Revise Section 8 (Airspace Designation) acknowledging RVSM is now applied worldwide and remove the detailed RVSM airspace designations from that section. The FAA also proposed additional conforming amendments to Appendix G of part 91 facilitating the addition of the approval requirements specified in new Section 9 for ADS–B Out equipped aircraft. These proposed conforming amendments would: • Revise Section 1 (Definitions) recognizing that RVSM is no longer a new concept and that RVSM operations have become standard between FL 290 and FL 410. • Revise Section 2 (Aircraft Approval) and Section 3 (Operator Authorization) to recognize aircraft operators may either use the current aircraft approval process specified in Section 2 and the operator authorization process specified in Section 3, or the authorization process in new Section 9 for aircraft equipped with qualified ADS–B Out systems to obtain authorization to conduct RVSM operations. • Revise Section 3 (Operator Authorization) to permit an operator to be authorized to conduct flight in airspace where RVSM is applied under the provisions of this section, as is currently permitted, or under the provisions of new Section 9. The section VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:23 Dec 20, 2018 Jkt 247001 would also be revised to better express the intent of the rule by stating that ‘‘each pilot has knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and procedures sufficient to conduct operations in RVSM airspace.’’ • Revise Section 4 (RVSM Operations) to require that pilots of aircraft of operators who have been authorized to conduct RVSM operations in accordance with proposed Section 9 have knowledge of the requirements, policies, and procedures sufficient for the conduct operations in RVSM airspace. • Revise Section 5 (Deviation Authority Approval) to eliminate the specific references to Section 3 since the Administrator may authorize deviations from the requirements in §§ 91.180 and 91.706 for a specific flight in RVSM airspace for operators who may not meet the provisions of current Section 3 or proposed Section 9. • Revise Section 7 (Removal or Amendment of Authority) to eliminate specific references to the revocation or restriction of RVSM authorizations and letters of authorization and replace those provisions with a more general provision stating that the Administrator may prohibit or restrict operation in RVSM airspace if an operator fails to comply with certain specified provisions. B. General Overview of Comments The comment period for the NPRM closed on September 6, 2017. The FAA received 16 comments, mostly from individual aircraft operators. Other commenters included the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). All 16 comments supported the rule change with 10 of the individual commenters supporting the rule’s benefits of reducing the burden to operators. Based on the comments received, the FAA adopts the amendments as proposed with only minor non-substantive editorial changes to facilitate publication in the Code of Federal Regulations. III. Discussion of Public Comments and Final Rule Comments Regarding the Proposal All the commenters supported the proposal. The majority of the commenters, including NBAA, AOPA, and GAMA, stated that the reduction in regulatory requirements for operator authorization would be cost beneficial for operators by: • Reducing the burden and expense of having to make application for PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 65489 authorization to operate in RVSM airspace; and • Allowing operations at RVSM fuelefficient altitudes sooner without degrading safety. NBAA commented the new rule is a logical extension of the work the FAA has been doing to further streamline the [RVSM authorization] process while maintaining the highest levels of safety. The FAA notes that this final rule eliminates the requirement to make application for RVSM authorization if an operator chooses to leverage the technology gains obtained in ADS–B Out equipage, in accordance with §§ 91.180 and 91.706, while continuing to require that operators meet the equipment and performance standards specified in Appendix G of part 91. The rule provides operators with an additional means to obtain authorization to operate in RVSM airspace but does not change the height keeping requirements for operations in that airspace. The use of ADS–B Out allows the FAA to continually and more accurately monitor an aircraft’s height keeping performance in RVSM airspace thereby providing the agency with the ability to more rapidly mitigate the risks posed by poor performing aircraft. The FAA believes that these changes not only reduce operator and FAA workload and expense, but also accomplish these objectives with no additional risk or impact on the level of safety provided by the FAA’s current RVSM authorization process. AOPA commented that the proposed modifications to part 91 will result in significant cost and time savings for general aviation and the FAA, while ensuring no degradation to safety. The FAA has determined the current fleet of RVSM approved aircraft consistently meets FAA established safety standards for operations in RVSM airspace. The FAA notes that aircraft equipped with qualified ADS–B Out systems may conduct operations in airspace where the FAA has ADS–B coverage sufficient to confirm RVSM height-keeping performance, under the provisions of new Section 9 of Appendix G, immediately upon the effective date of this rule. However, an operator may still operate with an authorization issued under the provisions of Section 3 of Appendix G if its aircraft is not equipped with a qualified ADS–B Out system. The FAA also notes that if a foreign country requires a specific authorization to operate in RVSM airspace, as specified in ICAO Annex 6, an operator may need to seek authorization under the provisions of Section 3, even if it meets the provisions of Section 9. E:\FR\FM\21DER1.SGM 21DER1 65490 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 245 / Friday, December 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations GAMA supported the proposed changes and commented that the rule further builds on prior discussions between the FAA and industry to streamline and reduce the burden of the operational authorization process for general aviation operators. GAMA stated that it helps provide additional NextGen-driven benefits to the industry. NBAA commented that operating in RVSM airspace has become very common and an integral part of operating aircraft in their most efficient state. The FAA agrees that adopting the proposed rule changes will increase safety in RVSM airspace where ADS–B monitoring is available and reduce delays in receiving approval for operations in RVSM airspace. There were 10 additional individual commenters who expressed strong support for this action with similar statements recognizing the ‘‘cumbersome and costly’’ RVSM authorization process and that the core benefits of compressing high-level airspace have been offset by long delays in the FAA review and authorization process. The FAA agrees with the commenters that the general aviation community will obtain significant benefits from this action, including that the rule takes an important step in removing an approval process that is no longer justifiable as pilots equip with advanced NextGen technology. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES Other Comments One commenter stated that the proposal was ‘‘a good start’’ but did not go far enough and there should be no RVSM authorization at all. In the NPRM, the FAA only proposed to remove the requirement to submit an application for RVSM authorization if an aircraft is equipped with a qualified ADS–B Out system. The FAA did not propose to eliminate the authorization requirement in §§ 91.180 or 91.706 and considers the commenter’s recommendation outside the scope of this rulemaking. The FAA notes that ICAO Annex 6 continues to require that an airplane used to conduct operations in RVSM airspace be specifically authorized to conduct those operations by the State of the operator or State of registry, as applicable. The annex further specifies that prior to issuing the authorization, the issuing State must be satisfied that the vertical performance of the airplane meets applicable heightkeeping requirements and that the operator has instituted appropriate flightcrew operating procedures and procedures for continued airworthiness of the airplane. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:23 Dec 20, 2018 Jkt 247001 One commenter was concerned about eliminating the authorization due to the potential for transponder failure and felt that the FAA should conduct further review of ADS–B and transponder failure issues. The FAA notes that the ADS–B Out equipment requirement in Section 9(a)(5) is necessary for aircraft height-keeping performance monitoring and that failure of an aircraft’s transponder does not hinder the ability of the aircraft to maintain the requisite aircraft height-keeping capability in RVSM airspace. Transponder failure procedures in RVSM airspace are addressed in FAA and ICAO guidance material. One commenter stated the use of ADS–B technology will deconflict aircraft within RVSM airspace without the need for expensive altimetry instruments. The FAA notes that for an aircraft to be eligible for operations in RVSM airspace it must meet strict height-keeping performance standards. ADS–B Out provides information used to determine an aircraft’s ASE. ADS–B alone does not provide operators with the requisite height-keeping capability to conduct operations in RVSM airspace safely. Accordingly, the installation of a qualified ADS–B Out system in an aircraft that does not have the altitudekeeping capability necessary to meet RVSM performance requirements would not permit that aircraft to operate in RVSM airspace. Recent Regulatory Actions As discussed in the ‘‘Background’’ section of this document, RVSM was implemented regionally in a phased approach. Section 8 (Airspace Designation) of Appendix G was initially designed to be updated whenever regions added RVSM airspace. The inability to update these designations rapidly caused discrepancies between the airspace listed in Section 8 of Appendix G and the airspace in which RVSM had been applied. Today, however, RVSM has been established between FL 290 and FL 410 in all flight information regions and requirements have been harmonized throughout ICAO member States. The FAA recently amended the airspace designations in Section 8 of Appendix G by only revising the name of the North Atlantic airspace (82 FR 39660; Aug. 22, 2017). Since the action in this rule was pending at the time, it would have been inconsistent for the FAA to make all the other changes in that rule while leaving out the change to Section 8 of Appendix G in anticipation of the changes made by this rule. Accordingly, there is no longer a need to update the airspace designations PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 listed in Section 8. The amendment to this section acknowledges RVSM is now applied worldwide and removes the detailed RVSM airspace designations from that section, as proposed. C. Changes From the NPRM The FAA has made no changes to the proposal as set forth in the NPRM other than minor non-substantive editorial changes to facilitate publication in the Code of Federal Regulations. IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96–354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96–39) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, this Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, Local, or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995; current value is $155 million). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA’s analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule. We suggest readers seeking greater detail read the full regulatory evaluation, a copy of which we have placed in the docket for this rulemaking. In conducting these analyses, the FAA has determined that this final rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs, (2) is not an economically ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as defined in Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, (3) is ‘‘nonsignificant’’ as defined in DOT’s Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) will not have a significant economic impact on small entities; (5) will not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States; and (6) will not impose an unfunded E:\FR\FM\21DER1.SGM 21DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 245 / Friday, December 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations i. Who is potentially affected by this rule? All operators intending to conduct operations between FL 290 and FL 410 (RVSM designated Airspace) and have 1,000 feet vertical separation applied. This applies to operations conducted under parts 91, 121, 125, and 135. ii. Assumptions • Present value estimates based on OMB guidance using a 7 percent discount rate. • The benefits begin to accrue in 2019. • The analysis period is 5 years from 2019 to 2023. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES iii. Benefits and Cost Savings of This Rule The final rule will permit an operator of an aircraft meeting equipment requirements for operations in RVSM airspace and equipped with a qualified ADS–B Out system to operate in RVSM airspace without requiring application for a specific authorization. This rulemaking will eliminate this application requirement, thereby reducing both operators’ costs and FAA workload, while maintaining the Owners of new turbojet or turboprop airplanes receive a benefit of $1,630 per new airplane. For new turbojet or turboprop airplanes whose value exceeds $3 million, the cost savings of less than $2,000 is not economically significant. If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the head of the agency may so certify under Section 605(b) of the RFA. Therefore, as provided in Section 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:23 Dec 20, 2018 Jkt 247001 existing level of safety. The biggest savings comes not from the paperwork savings but from fuel savings. Currently, operators without RVSM approval must operate their airplanes at lower altitudes. Total savings during the first 5 years of the rule’s implementation will be approximately $34.0 million or $27.5 million present value at 7 percent, with annualized savings of $6.7 million. B. Final Regulatory Flexibility Determination The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96–354) (RFA) establishes ‘‘as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation.’’ To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration. The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, including small businesses, not-forprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule has a significant economic impact on a impact on a substantial number of small entities. C. International Trade Impact Assessment The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96–39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103–465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 substantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it does, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA. However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, Section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear. The FAA estimates that this rulemaking saves each affected small entity operating aircraft equipped with qualified ADS–B Out systems under part 91 and part 135 $1,630 from not having to apply for an RVSM authorization and from reduced fuel cost associated with not being restricted from RVSM operations while the authorization is processed. The total relief of $1,630 for each part 91 and part 135 operator seeking authorization for aircraft equipped with ADS–B Out is the sum of the estimated $214 per application preparation relief, plus the per aircraft fuel savings estimate of $1,416. The FAA then compared this cost saving with a weighted average aircraft value of representative aircraft potentially be affected by this rule (See following table). States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards, and where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this rule and determined that it has the same impact on domestic and international entities and thus has a neutral trade impact. D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4) E:\FR\FM\21DER1.SGM 21DER1 ER21DE18.019</GPH> mandate on State, Local, or Tribal governments, or on the private sector by exceeding the threshold identified above. These analyses are summarized below. 65491 65492 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 245 / Friday, December 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any 1 year by State, Local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a ‘‘significant regulatory action.’’ The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $155 million in lieu of $100 million. This rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply. E. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. According to the 1995 amendments to the Paperwork Reduction Act (5 CFR 1320.8(b)(2)(vi)), an agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. As described in the regulatory evaluation, this rule will relieve the existing RVSM information collection burden for certain operators. Under currently approved information requirements (OMB 2120–0679), operators seeking approval to conduct RVSM operations must submit application to the FAA for authorization. This rule change will eliminate the application requirement for operators choosing to equip their aircraft with qualified ADS–B Out systems. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), the FAA will submit information collection amendments to OMB for its review after publication of this final rule. Notice of OMB approval of this revised information collection will be published in the Federal Register. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES F. International Compatibility and Cooperation In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and has identified no differences with these regulations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:23 Dec 20, 2018 Jkt 247001 V. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs This rule is an Executive Order 13771 titled ‘‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,’’ deregulatory action. Details on the estimated costs savings of this rule can be found in the rule’s economic analysis. B. Executive Order 13132, Federalism The FAA has analyzed this rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, therefore, will not have Federalism implications. action. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of the FAA’s dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996 requires the FAA to comply with small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this document, may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of the preamble. To find out more about SBREFA on the internet, visit http:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ rulemaking/sbre_act/. C. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use The FAA analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it will not be a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under the executive order and will not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91 VI. How To Obtain Additional Information Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40101, 40103, 40105, 40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506–46507, 47122, 47508, 47528–47531, 47534, Public Law 114–190, 135 Stat. 615 (49 U.S.C. 44703 note); articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11). A. Rulemaking Documents An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by using the internet—Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http:// www.regulations.gov); 1. Visit the FAA’s Regulations and Policies web page at http:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ or 2. Access the Government Printing Office’s web page at http:// www.gpo.gov/fdsys/. Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by notice, amendment, or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM–1, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267–9677. B. Comments Submitted to the Docket Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions to search the docket number for this PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Aircraft, Air traffic control, Aviation safety. The Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 91 as follows: PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows: ■ 2. Amend Appendix G to part 91: a. In Section 1 by revising the definition of Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace; ■ b. In Section 2 by revising paragraph (a); ■ c. In Section 3 by revising paragraphs (a), (b) introductory text, (c) introductory text, and (c)(2); ■ d. In Section 4 by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) and adding paragraph (b)(3); ■ e. In Section 5 by revising the introductory text and paragraph (b); ■ f. In Section 7 by revising the introductory text; ■ g. By revising Section 8; and ■ h. By adding Section 9. The revisions and additions read as follows: ■ ■ E:\FR\FM\21DER1.SGM 21DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 245 / Friday, December 21, 2018 / Rules and Regulations Appendix G to Part 91—Operations in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace Section 1. Definitions Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace. Within RVSM airspace, air traffic control (ATC) separates aircraft by a minimum of 1,000 feet vertically between FL 290 and FL 410 inclusive. Air-traffic control notifies operators of RVSM airspace by providing route planning information. * * * * * Section 2. Aircraft Approval (a) Except as specified in Section 9 of this appendix, an operator may be authorized to conduct RVSM operations if the Administrator finds that its aircraft comply with this section. * * * * (a) Except as specified in Section 9 of this appendix, authority for an operator to conduct flight in airspace where RVSM is applied is issued in operations specifications, a Letter of Authorization, or management specifications issued under subpart K of this part, as appropriate. To issue an RVSM authorization under this section, the Administrator must find that the operator’s aircraft have been approved in accordance with Section 2 of this appendix and the operator complies with this section. (b) Except as specified in Section 9 of this appendix, an applicant seeking authorization to operate within RVSM airspace must apply in a form and manner prescribed by the Administrator. The application must include the following: * * * * (c) In a manner prescribed by the Administrator, an operator seeking authorization under this section must provide evidence that: * * * * * (2) Each pilot has knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and procedures sufficient for the conduct of operations in RVSM airspace. Section 4. RVSM Operations amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES * * * * * (b) * * * (1) The operator is authorized by the Administrator to perform such operations in accordance with Section 3 or Section 9 of this appendix, as applicable. (2) The aircraft— (i) Has been approved and complies with Section 2 this appendix; or (ii) Complies with Section 9 of this appendix. (3) Each pilot has knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and procedures sufficient for the conduct of operations in RVSM airspace. Section 5. Deviation Authority Approval The Administrator may authorize an aircraft operator to deviate from the requirements of §§ 91.180 or 91.706 for a specific flight in RVSM airspace if— * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 * * 16:23 Dec 20, 2018 * * * * * Jkt 247001 44701(a) in Washington, DC, on December 10, 2018. Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2018–27401 Filed 12–20–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Section 7. Removal or Amendment of Authority The Administrator may prohibit or restrict an operator from conducting operations in RVSM airspace, if the Administrator determines that the operator is not complying, or is unable to comply, with this appendix or subpart H of this part. Examples of reasons for amendment, revocation, or restriction include, but are not limited to, an operator’s: * * * * * Section 8. Airspace Designation * Section 3. Operator Authorization * (b) At the time of filing the flight plan for that flight, ATC determines that the aircraft may be provided appropriate separation and that the flight will not interfere with, or impose a burden on, RVSM operations. 65493 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 101 [Docket No. FDA–2012–N–1210] Food Labeling; Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels; Technical Amendments RVSM may be applied in all ICAO Flight Information Regions (FIRs). AGENCY: Section 9. Aircraft Equipped With Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast Out ACTION: An operator is authorized to conduct flight in airspace in which RVSM is applied provided: (a) The aircraft is equipped with the following: (1) Two operational independent altitude measurement systems. (2) At least one automatic altitude control system that controls the aircraft altitude— (i) Within a tolerance band of ±65 feet about an acquired altitude when the aircraft is operated in straight and level flight under nonturbulent, nongust conditions; or (ii) Within a tolerance band of ±130 feet under nonturbulent, nongust conditions for aircraft for which application for type certification occurred on or before April 9, 1997, that are equipped with an automatic altitude control system with flight management/performance system inputs. (3) An altitude alert system that signals an alert when the altitude displayed to the flightcrew deviates from the selected altitude by more than— (i) ±300 feet for aircraft for which application for type certification was made on or before April 9, 1997; or (ii) ±200 feet for aircraft for which application for type certification is made after April 9, 1997. (4) A TCAS II that meets TSO C–119b (Version 7.0), or a later version, if equipped with TCAS II, unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator. (5) Unless authorized by ATC or the foreign country where the aircraft is operated, an ADS–B Out system that meets the equipment performance requirements of § 91.227 of this part. The aircraft must have its height-keeping performance monitored in a form and manner acceptable to the Administrator. (b) The altimetry system error (ASE) of the aircraft does not exceed 200 feet when operating in RVSM airspace. Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 40103(b), 40113(a), and PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Final rule; technical amendment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is amending the regulations pertaining to the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels. The amendments correct errors that were made in labeling examples, restore incorrect deletions, correct the edition of a reference cited in the rule, and correct cross-references to other regulations. This action is ministerial or editorial in nature. DATES: This rule is effective December 21, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Kantor, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240–402–2082. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background In the Federal Register of May 27, 2016 (81 FR 33742 and 81 FR 34000), we published two final rules entitled ‘‘Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels’’ (the Nutrition Facts Label Final Rule) and ‘‘Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed At One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments’’ (the Serving Size Final Rule). The Nutrition Facts Label Final Rule revises the Nutrition Facts label by: • Removing the declaration of ‘‘Calories from fat’’ because current science supports a view that the type of fat is more relevant than overall total fat intake in increased risk of chronic diseases; E:\FR\FM\21DER1.SGM 21DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 245 (Friday, December 21, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65487-65493]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27401]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 91

[Docket No.: FAA-2017-0782; Amdt. No. 91-354]
RIN 2120-AK87


Use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance--Broadcast (ADS-B) Out in 
Support of Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Operations

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This action revises the FAA's requirements for application to 
operate in RVSM airspace. The amendment eliminates the requirement for 
operators to apply for an RVSM authorization when their aircraft are 
equipped with qualified ADS-B Out systems and meet specific altitude 
keeping equipment requirements for operations in RVSM airspace. This 
action recognizes the enhancements in aircraft monitoring resulting 
from the use of ADS-B Out systems and responds to requests from 
operators to eliminate the burden and expense of the current RVSM 
application process for aircraft equipped with qualified ADS-B Out 
systems.

DATES: Effective January 22, 2019.

ADDRESSES: For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking 
documents and other information related to this final rule, see ``How 
To Obtain Additional Information'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions concerning 
this action, contact Madison Walton, Aviation Safety Inspector, Flight 
Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Services, AFS-
400, Federal Aviation Administration, 470 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 4102, 
Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-8850; email 
Madison.Walton@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules with respect to aviation safety 
is found in Title 49, United States Code (49 U.S.C.). Sections 106(f), 
40113(a), and 44701(a) authorize the FAA Administrator to prescribe 
regulations necessary for aviation safety. Under Section 40103(b), the 
FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to enhance the efficiency 
of the national airspace. This rulemaking is within the scope of these 
authorities as it removes regulatory requirements that the FAA no 
longer finds necessary for safe operations in RVSM airspace and 
establishes requirements for the use of qualified ADS-B Out systems to 
facilitate operations in that airspace.

I. Overview of Final Rule

    This action amends Appendix G of part 91 of Title 14 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (14 CFR) to permit an operator of an aircraft 
equipped with a qualified ADS-B Out system meeting altitude keeping 
equipment performance requirements for operations in RVSM airspace to 
operate in that airspace without requiring a specific authorization. 
Under this action, the FAA considers a qualified ADS-B Out system to be 
one that meets

[[Page 65488]]

the requirements of 14 CFR 91.227. The FAA is taking this action based 
on the technological advances provided by ADS-B Out systems. As a 
result of these advances, detailed applications and specific 
authorizations for operators of these aircraft to conduct operations in 
RVSM airspace are no longer necessary. The amendment also removes the 
detailed designations of airspace where revised RVSM may be applied 
that were previously found in Appendix G of part 91.

II. Background

    Vertical separation standards establish the minimum vertical 
distance between aircraft routes in the National Airspace System. In 
the early 1970's, increasing air-traffic volume and fuel costs sparked 
an interest in reducing vertical separation standards for aircraft 
operating above Flight Level (FL) 290. At the time, the FAA required 
aircraft operating above FL 290 to maintain a minimum of 2,000 feet of 
vertical separation between routes. Use of these high-altitude routes 
was desirable because the diminished atmospheric drag at high altitudes 
results in a corresponding increase in aircraft fuel efficiency. 
Operators sought, and continue to seek, not only the most direct 
routes, but also the most efficient altitudes for their aircraft. 
Increased demand for these high-altitude routes, however, has resulted 
in greater aircraft congestion in this airspace.
    In 1973, the Air Transport Association of America petitioned the 
FAA to reduce the vertical separation of high altitude routes from 
2,000 feet to 1,000 feet. The FAA denied the petition in 1977, in part 
because the technology to meet these more rigorous separation standards 
was neither generally available nor proven. Deficiencies included 
insufficient aircraft altitude-keeping standards, lack of maintenance 
and operational standards, and limited altitude correction technology.
    In mid-1981, the FAA initiated the Vertical Studies Program. This 
program, in conjunction with RTCA (formerly the Radio Technical 
Commission for Aeronautics) Special Committee (SC)-150 and the 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Review of General 
Concept of Separation Panel, determined:
     RVSM is ``technically feasible without imposing 
unreasonably demanding technical requirements on the equipment.''
     RVSM could provide ``significant benefits in terms of 
economy and en-route airspace capacity.''
     Implementation of RVSM would require ``sound operational 
judgment supported by an assessment of system performance based on: 
aircraft altitude-keeping capability, operational considerations, 
system performance monitoring, and risk assessment.''
    Following these determinations, the FAA began a two-phase 
implementation process for RVSM operations for aircraft registered in 
the United States. During the first phase in 1997, the FAA added Sec.  
91.706 (Operations within airspace designed as RVSM Airspace) and 
Appendix G (Operations in RVSM Airspace) of part 91 (62 FR 17487; Apr. 
9, 1997). Section 91.706 permits operators of U.S.-registered aircraft 
to operate in RVSM airspace outside of the United States (U.S.) in 
accordance with the provisions of Appendix G. Appendix G contains a set 
of operational, design, maintenance, and other standards applicable to 
operators seeking to operate in RVSM airspace. It specifies a detailed 
application process that requires an operator to provide evidence that 
the operator's aircraft design satisfies RVSM performance requirements 
and the operator has policies and procedures for the safe conduct of 
RVSM operations. Until recently, it also required that the operator 
have a specific program for the maintenance of RVSM systems and 
equipment. The FAA reviews the applications and grants authorizations 
to operate in RVSM airspace after finding that the applicable 
requirements are met.
    The second phase of RVSM implementation occurred in October 2003, 
with a second RVSM-related rulemaking action (68 FR 61304; Oct. 27, 
2003). This rule introduced RVSM airspace in the U.S. and used the same 
authorization process previously established under Appendix G of part 
91. As established in 2003, the FAA's RVSM program allows for 1,000 
feet of vertical separation for aircraft between FL 290 and FL 410. 
Before the 2003 final rule, air traffic controllers could only assign 
aircraft operating under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flying at FL 290 
and above to FL 290, 310, 330, 350, 370, 390, and 410 since the 
existing vertical separation standard was 2,000 feet. After the rule 
changes went into effect, IFR aircraft could also fly at FL 300, 320, 
340, 360, 380, and 400--nearly doubling capacity within this particular 
segment of airspace.
    The FAA also implemented a performance-monitoring program to 
support implementation of RVSM. This program included Global 
Positioning System based height-keeping monitoring units capable of 
being deployed onboard aircraft during individual RVSM flights. Later, 
in 2005, the FAA deployed the first of five passive ground-based 
aircraft geometric height measurement element sites in the continental 
U.S. to conduct height-keeping performance monitoring of aircraft 
passing over each site. Other civil aviation authorities throughout the 
world have also developed similar height monitoring sites.
    In 2008, the FAA reviewed its RVSM program and operator 
authorization policies. At that time, there were more than 7,000 active 
RVSM authorizations, covering in excess of 15,000 U.S.-registered 
aircraft. The FAA's evaluation found the existing processes ensured 
compliance with the RVSM operating requirements. At the same time 
however, FAA representatives began meeting with the National Business 
Aviation Association (NBAA) to develop ways to streamline the RVSM 
application process to lower the burden on operators to obtain RVSM 
authorizations and reduce the FAA's workload associated with processing 
and granting these authorizations. The parties formed the RVSM Process 
Enhancement Team (PET) within the Performance Based Aviation Rulemaking 
Committee. The PET submitted its final recommendations to the FAA in 
2013. As a result, the FAA revised existing policies and guidance to 
facilitate more efficient processing of requests to change existing 
authorizations and created a job aid to assist inspectors in 
standardizing reviews of operator applications.
    The FAA also completed rulemaking in 2016 to further reduce the 
burden on applicants by eliminating the requirement that RVSM 
applicants include an approved RVSM maintenance program as part of an 
application for an RVSM authorization (81 FR 47009, July 20, 2016). 
RVSM technology has matured and most aircraft manufactured today that 
are capable of operating in RVSM airspace are delivered from the 
manufacturer as RVSM compliant. RVSM airspace has been implemented 
worldwide, familiarity with operational policy and procedures has 
significantly increased, and the vast majority of the RVSM capable 
fleet demonstrates excellent altimetry system performance. 
Additionally, the increasing equipage of aircraft with ADS-B Out 
systems makes the current process of obtaining RVSM authorizations for 
operation of these aircraft in RVSM airspace unnecessary, as ADS-B Out 
enables continual monitoring of aircraft height-keeping performance and 
rapid notification of altimetry system error (ASE).
    Currently operators are required to be issued a specific RVSM 
authorization by

[[Page 65489]]

the FAA's Flight Standards Service prior to operating in RVSM airspace. 
Until an operator's application is processed and the authorization 
issued, the operator cannot operate in RVSM designated airspace, Flight 
Levels (FL) 290-410 inclusive. During the application processing 
period, the aircraft may only be operated at FL 280 and below. Aircraft 
operations at lower altitudes are less efficient due to their higher 
fuel burn rates and lower true airspeeds.

A. Summary of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

    In August 2017, the FAA issued an NPRM (82 FR 36697; August 7, 
2017) that proposed to amend the FAA's application requirements to 
operate in RVSM airspace. In that NPRM, the FAA proposed to amend 
Appendix G of 14 CFR part 91 to:
     Add a new Section 9 (Aircraft Equipped with Automatic 
Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out) to authorize operators of 
aircraft, equipped with qualified ADS-B Out systems (i.e., systems that 
meet the requirements of Sec.  91.227) that can be monitored by the FAA 
to conduct RVSM operations without submitting an application for an 
authorization to operate in RVSM airspace.
     Revise Section 8 (Airspace Designation) acknowledging RVSM 
is now applied worldwide and remove the detailed RVSM airspace 
designations from that section.
    The FAA also proposed additional conforming amendments to Appendix 
G of part 91 facilitating the addition of the approval requirements 
specified in new Section 9 for ADS-B Out equipped aircraft. These 
proposed conforming amendments would:
     Revise Section 1 (Definitions) recognizing that RVSM is no 
longer a new concept and that RVSM operations have become standard 
between FL 290 and FL 410.
     Revise Section 2 (Aircraft Approval) and Section 3 
(Operator Authorization) to recognize aircraft operators may either use 
the current aircraft approval process specified in Section 2 and the 
operator authorization process specified in Section 3, or the 
authorization process in new Section 9 for aircraft equipped with 
qualified ADS-B Out systems to obtain authorization to conduct RVSM 
operations.
     Revise Section 3 (Operator Authorization) to permit an 
operator to be authorized to conduct flight in airspace where RVSM is 
applied under the provisions of this section, as is currently 
permitted, or under the provisions of new Section 9. The section would 
also be revised to better express the intent of the rule by stating 
that ``each pilot has knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and 
procedures sufficient to conduct operations in RVSM airspace.''
     Revise Section 4 (RVSM Operations) to require that pilots 
of aircraft of operators who have been authorized to conduct RVSM 
operations in accordance with proposed Section 9 have knowledge of the 
requirements, policies, and procedures sufficient for the conduct 
operations in RVSM airspace.
     Revise Section 5 (Deviation Authority Approval) to 
eliminate the specific references to Section 3 since the Administrator 
may authorize deviations from the requirements in Sec. Sec.  91.180 and 
91.706 for a specific flight in RVSM airspace for operators who may not 
meet the provisions of current Section 3 or proposed Section 9.
     Revise Section 7 (Removal or Amendment of Authority) to 
eliminate specific references to the revocation or restriction of RVSM 
authorizations and letters of authorization and replace those 
provisions with a more general provision stating that the Administrator 
may prohibit or restrict operation in RVSM airspace if an operator 
fails to comply with certain specified provisions.

B. General Overview of Comments

    The comment period for the NPRM closed on September 6, 2017. The 
FAA received 16 comments, mostly from individual aircraft operators. 
Other commenters included the National Business Aviation Association 
(NBAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and the 
General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). All 16 comments 
supported the rule change with 10 of the individual commenters 
supporting the rule's benefits of reducing the burden to operators. 
Based on the comments received, the FAA adopts the amendments as 
proposed with only minor non-substantive editorial changes to 
facilitate publication in the Code of Federal Regulations.

III. Discussion of Public Comments and Final Rule

Comments Regarding the Proposal

    All the commenters supported the proposal. The majority of the 
commenters, including NBAA, AOPA, and GAMA, stated that the reduction 
in regulatory requirements for operator authorization would be cost 
beneficial for operators by:
     Reducing the burden and expense of having to make 
application for authorization to operate in RVSM airspace; and
     Allowing operations at RVSM fuel-efficient altitudes 
sooner without degrading safety.
    NBAA commented the new rule is a logical extension of the work the 
FAA has been doing to further streamline the [RVSM authorization] 
process while maintaining the highest levels of safety. The FAA notes 
that this final rule eliminates the requirement to make application for 
RVSM authorization if an operator chooses to leverage the technology 
gains obtained in ADS-B Out equipage, in accordance with Sec. Sec.  
91.180 and 91.706, while continuing to require that operators meet the 
equipment and performance standards specified in Appendix G of part 91. 
The rule provides operators with an additional means to obtain 
authorization to operate in RVSM airspace but does not change the 
height keeping requirements for operations in that airspace. The use of 
ADS-B Out allows the FAA to continually and more accurately monitor an 
aircraft's height keeping performance in RVSM airspace thereby 
providing the agency with the ability to more rapidly mitigate the 
risks posed by poor performing aircraft. The FAA believes that these 
changes not only reduce operator and FAA workload and expense, but also 
accomplish these objectives with no additional risk or impact on the 
level of safety provided by the FAA's current RVSM authorization 
process.
    AOPA commented that the proposed modifications to part 91 will 
result in significant cost and time savings for general aviation and 
the FAA, while ensuring no degradation to safety. The FAA has 
determined the current fleet of RVSM approved aircraft consistently 
meets FAA established safety standards for operations in RVSM airspace. 
The FAA notes that aircraft equipped with qualified ADS-B Out systems 
may conduct operations in airspace where the FAA has ADS-B coverage 
sufficient to confirm RVSM height-keeping performance, under the 
provisions of new Section 9 of Appendix G, immediately upon the 
effective date of this rule. However, an operator may still operate 
with an authorization issued under the provisions of Section 3 of 
Appendix G if its aircraft is not equipped with a qualified ADS-B Out 
system. The FAA also notes that if a foreign country requires a 
specific authorization to operate in RVSM airspace, as specified in 
ICAO Annex 6, an operator may need to seek authorization under the 
provisions of Section 3, even if it meets the provisions of Section 9.

[[Page 65490]]

    GAMA supported the proposed changes and commented that the rule 
further builds on prior discussions between the FAA and industry to 
streamline and reduce the burden of the operational authorization 
process for general aviation operators. GAMA stated that it helps 
provide additional NextGen-driven benefits to the industry.
    NBAA commented that operating in RVSM airspace has become very 
common and an integral part of operating aircraft in their most 
efficient state. The FAA agrees that adopting the proposed rule changes 
will increase safety in RVSM airspace where ADS-B monitoring is 
available and reduce delays in receiving approval for operations in 
RVSM airspace.
    There were 10 additional individual commenters who expressed strong 
support for this action with similar statements recognizing the 
``cumbersome and costly'' RVSM authorization process and that the core 
benefits of compressing high-level airspace have been offset by long 
delays in the FAA review and authorization process.
    The FAA agrees with the commenters that the general aviation 
community will obtain significant benefits from this action, including 
that the rule takes an important step in removing an approval process 
that is no longer justifiable as pilots equip with advanced NextGen 
technology.

Other Comments

    One commenter stated that the proposal was ``a good start'' but did 
not go far enough and there should be no RVSM authorization at all. In 
the NPRM, the FAA only proposed to remove the requirement to submit an 
application for RVSM authorization if an aircraft is equipped with a 
qualified ADS-B Out system. The FAA did not propose to eliminate the 
authorization requirement in Sec. Sec.  91.180 or 91.706 and considers 
the commenter's recommendation outside the scope of this rulemaking. 
The FAA notes that ICAO Annex 6 continues to require that an airplane 
used to conduct operations in RVSM airspace be specifically authorized 
to conduct those operations by the State of the operator or State of 
registry, as applicable. The annex further specifies that prior to 
issuing the authorization, the issuing State must be satisfied that the 
vertical performance of the airplane meets applicable height-keeping 
requirements and that the operator has instituted appropriate 
flightcrew operating procedures and procedures for continued 
airworthiness of the airplane.
    One commenter was concerned about eliminating the authorization due 
to the potential for transponder failure and felt that the FAA should 
conduct further review of ADS-B and transponder failure issues. The FAA 
notes that the ADS-B Out equipment requirement in Section 9(a)(5) is 
necessary for aircraft height-keeping performance monitoring and that 
failure of an aircraft's transponder does not hinder the ability of the 
aircraft to maintain the requisite aircraft height-keeping capability 
in RVSM airspace. Transponder failure procedures in RVSM airspace are 
addressed in FAA and ICAO guidance material.
    One commenter stated the use of ADS-B technology will deconflict 
aircraft within RVSM airspace without the need for expensive altimetry 
instruments. The FAA notes that for an aircraft to be eligible for 
operations in RVSM airspace it must meet strict height-keeping 
performance standards. ADS-B Out provides information used to determine 
an aircraft's ASE. ADS-B alone does not provide operators with the 
requisite height-keeping capability to conduct operations in RVSM 
airspace safely. Accordingly, the installation of a qualified ADS-B Out 
system in an aircraft that does not have the altitude-keeping 
capability necessary to meet RVSM performance requirements would not 
permit that aircraft to operate in RVSM airspace.

Recent Regulatory Actions

    As discussed in the ``Background'' section of this document, RVSM 
was implemented regionally in a phased approach. Section 8 (Airspace 
Designation) of Appendix G was initially designed to be updated 
whenever regions added RVSM airspace. The inability to update these 
designations rapidly caused discrepancies between the airspace listed 
in Section 8 of Appendix G and the airspace in which RVSM had been 
applied. Today, however, RVSM has been established between FL 290 and 
FL 410 in all flight information regions and requirements have been 
harmonized throughout ICAO member States.
    The FAA recently amended the airspace designations in Section 8 of 
Appendix G by only revising the name of the North Atlantic airspace (82 
FR 39660; Aug. 22, 2017). Since the action in this rule was pending at 
the time, it would have been inconsistent for the FAA to make all the 
other changes in that rule while leaving out the change to Section 8 of 
Appendix G in anticipation of the changes made by this rule. 
Accordingly, there is no longer a need to update the airspace 
designations listed in Section 8. The amendment to this section 
acknowledges RVSM is now applied worldwide and removes the detailed 
RVSM airspace designations from that section, as proposed.

C. Changes From the NPRM

    The FAA has made no changes to the proposal as set forth in the 
NPRM other than minor non-substantive editorial changes to facilitate 
publication in the Code of Federal Regulations.

IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct 
that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon 
a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation 
justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. 
L. 96-354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of 
regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act 
(Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create 
unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In 
developing U.S. standards, this Trade Act requires agencies to consider 
international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis 
of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of 
the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that 
include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, 
Local, or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with 
base year of 1995; current value is $155 million). This portion of the 
preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of the economic impacts of this 
final rule. We suggest readers seeking greater detail read the full 
regulatory evaluation, a copy of which we have placed in the docket for 
this rulemaking.
    In conducting these analyses, the FAA has determined that this 
final rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs, (2) is not an 
economically ``significant regulatory action'' as defined in Section 
3(f) of Executive Order 12866, (3) is ``nonsignificant'' as defined in 
DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) will not have a 
significant economic impact on small entities; (5) will not create 
unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States; and 
(6) will not impose an unfunded

[[Page 65491]]

mandate on State, Local, or Tribal governments, or on the private 
sector by exceeding the threshold identified above. These analyses are 
summarized below.
i. Who is potentially affected by this rule?
    All operators intending to conduct operations between FL 290 and FL 
410 (RVSM designated Airspace) and have 1,000 feet vertical separation 
applied. This applies to operations conducted under parts 91, 121, 125, 
and 135.
ii. Assumptions
     Present value estimates based on OMB guidance using a 7 
percent discount rate.
     The benefits begin to accrue in 2019.
     The analysis period is 5 years from 2019 to 2023.
iii. Benefits and Cost Savings of This Rule
    The final rule will permit an operator of an aircraft meeting 
equipment requirements for operations in RVSM airspace and equipped 
with a qualified ADS-B Out system to operate in RVSM airspace without 
requiring application for a specific authorization. This rulemaking 
will eliminate this application requirement, thereby reducing both 
operators' costs and FAA workload, while maintaining the existing level 
of safety. The biggest savings comes not from the paperwork savings but 
from fuel savings. Currently, operators without RVSM approval must 
operate their airplanes at lower altitudes.
    Total savings during the first 5 years of the rule's implementation 
will be approximately $34.0 million or $27.5 million present value at 7 
percent, with annualized savings of $6.7 million.

B. Final Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) 
establishes ``as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall 
endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable 
statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale 
of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions 
subject to regulation.'' To achieve this principle, agencies are 
required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to 
explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals 
are given serious consideration. The RFA covers a wide-range of small 
entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and 
small governmental jurisdictions.
    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule has a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
If the agency determines that it does, the agency must prepare a 
regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.
    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, Section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the 
agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required. The certification must include a statement providing the 
factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be 
clear. The FAA estimates that this rulemaking saves each affected small 
entity operating aircraft equipped with qualified ADS-B Out systems 
under part 91 and part 135 $1,630 from not having to apply for an RVSM 
authorization and from reduced fuel cost associated with not being 
restricted from RVSM operations while the authorization is processed. 
The total relief of $1,630 for each part 91 and part 135 operator 
seeking authorization for aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out is the sum 
of the estimated $214 per application preparation relief, plus the per 
aircraft fuel savings estimate of $1,416. The FAA then compared this 
cost saving with a weighted average aircraft value of representative 
aircraft potentially be affected by this rule (See following table).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR21DE18.019

    Owners of new turbojet or turboprop airplanes receive a benefit of 
$1,630 per new airplane. For new turbojet or turboprop airplanes whose 
value exceeds $3 million, the cost savings of less than $2,000 is not 
economically significant.
    If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, 
the head of the agency may so certify under Section 605(b) of the RFA. 
Therefore, as provided in Section 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies 
that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

C. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the 
Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities 
that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not 
considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the 
United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic 
objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a 
manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also 
requires consideration of international standards, and where 
appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has 
assessed the potential effect of this rule and determined that it has 
the same impact on domestic and international entities and thus has a 
neutral trade impact.

D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-
4)

[[Page 65492]]

requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing 
the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule 
that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 
dollars) in any 1 year by State, Local, and Tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a 
``significant regulatory action.'' The FAA currently uses an inflation-
adjusted value of $155 million in lieu of $100 million. This rule does 
not contain such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II of 
the Act do not apply.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires 
that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. According to the 1995 
amendments to the Paperwork Reduction Act (5 CFR 1320.8(b)(2)(vi)), an 
agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor 
may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays 
a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.
    As described in the regulatory evaluation, this rule will relieve 
the existing RVSM information collection burden for certain operators. 
Under currently approved information requirements (OMB 2120-0679), 
operators seeking approval to conduct RVSM operations must submit 
application to the FAA for authorization. This rule change will 
eliminate the application requirement for operators choosing to equip 
their aircraft with qualified ADS-B Out systems. As required by the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), the FAA will 
submit information collection amendments to OMB for its review after 
publication of this final rule. Notice of OMB approval of this revised 
information collection will be published in the Federal Register.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and 
has identified no differences with these regulations.

V. Executive Order Determinations

A. Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs

    This rule is an Executive Order 13771 titled ``Reducing Regulation 
and Controlling Regulatory Costs,'' deregulatory action. Details on the 
estimated costs savings of this rule can be found in the rule's 
economic analysis.

B. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this rule under the principles and criteria of 
Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency has determined that this 
action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the 
relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government, and, therefore, will not have Federalism implications.

C. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    The FAA analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions 
Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it 
will not be a ``significant energy action'' under the executive order 
and will not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy.

VI. How To Obtain Additional Information

A. Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by 
using the internet--Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);
    1. Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ or
    2. Access the Government Printing Office's web page at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.
    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by 
notice, amendment, or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677.

B. Comments Submitted to the Docket

    Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions to search the 
docket number for this action. Anyone is able to search the electronic 
form of all comments received into any of the FAA's dockets by the name 
of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 
1996 requires the FAA to comply with small entity requests for 
information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations 
within its jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this 
document, may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed 
under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of 
the preamble. To find out more about SBREFA on the internet, visit 
http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91

    Aircraft, Air traffic control, Aviation safety.

The Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration amends 14 CFR part 91 as follows:

PART 91--GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES

0
1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40101, 40103, 40105, 
40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 
44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 
47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 47534, Public Law 114-190, 135 Stat. 615 
(49 U.S.C. 44703 note); articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11).


0
2. Amend Appendix G to part 91:
0
a. In Section 1 by revising the definition of Reduced Vertical 
Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace;
0
b. In Section 2 by revising paragraph (a);
0
c. In Section 3 by revising paragraphs (a), (b) introductory text, (c) 
introductory text, and (c)(2);
0
d. In Section 4 by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) and adding 
paragraph (b)(3);
0
e. In Section 5 by revising the introductory text and paragraph (b);
0
f. In Section 7 by revising the introductory text;
0
g. By revising Section 8; and
0
h. By adding Section 9.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:

[[Page 65493]]

Appendix G to Part 91--Operations in Reduced Vertical Separation 
Minimum (RVSM) Airspace

Section 1. Definitions

    Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace. Within RVSM 
airspace, air traffic control (ATC) separates aircraft by a minimum 
of 1,000 feet vertically between FL 290 and FL 410 inclusive. Air-
traffic control notifies operators of RVSM airspace by providing 
route planning information.
* * * * *

Section 2. Aircraft Approval

    (a) Except as specified in Section 9 of this appendix, an 
operator may be authorized to conduct RVSM operations if the 
Administrator finds that its aircraft comply with this section.
* * * * *

Section 3. Operator Authorization

    (a) Except as specified in Section 9 of this appendix, authority 
for an operator to conduct flight in airspace where RVSM is applied 
is issued in operations specifications, a Letter of Authorization, 
or management specifications issued under subpart K of this part, as 
appropriate. To issue an RVSM authorization under this section, the 
Administrator must find that the operator's aircraft have been 
approved in accordance with Section 2 of this appendix and the 
operator complies with this section.
    (b) Except as specified in Section 9 of this appendix, an 
applicant seeking authorization to operate within RVSM airspace must 
apply in a form and manner prescribed by the Administrator. The 
application must include the following:
* * * * *
    (c) In a manner prescribed by the Administrator, an operator 
seeking authorization under this section must provide evidence that:
* * * * *
    (2) Each pilot has knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and 
procedures sufficient for the conduct of operations in RVSM 
airspace.

Section 4. RVSM Operations

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) The operator is authorized by the Administrator to perform 
such operations in accordance with Section 3 or Section 9 of this 
appendix, as applicable.
    (2) The aircraft--
    (i) Has been approved and complies with Section 2 this appendix; 
or
    (ii) Complies with Section 9 of this appendix.
    (3) Each pilot has knowledge of RVSM requirements, policies, and 
procedures sufficient for the conduct of operations in RVSM 
airspace.

Section 5. Deviation Authority Approval

    The Administrator may authorize an aircraft operator to deviate 
from the requirements of Sec. Sec.  91.180 or 91.706 for a specific 
flight in RVSM airspace if--
* * * * *
    (b) At the time of filing the flight plan for that flight, ATC 
determines that the aircraft may be provided appropriate separation 
and that the flight will not interfere with, or impose a burden on, 
RVSM operations.
* * * * *

Section 7. Removal or Amendment of Authority

    The Administrator may prohibit or restrict an operator from 
conducting operations in RVSM airspace, if the Administrator 
determines that the operator is not complying, or is unable to 
comply, with this appendix or subpart H of this part. Examples of 
reasons for amendment, revocation, or restriction include, but are 
not limited to, an operator's:
* * * * *

Section 8. Airspace Designation

    RVSM may be applied in all ICAO Flight Information Regions 
(FIRs).

Section 9. Aircraft Equipped With Automatic Dependent Surveillance--
Broadcast Out

    An operator is authorized to conduct flight in airspace in which 
RVSM is applied provided:
    (a) The aircraft is equipped with the following:
    (1) Two operational independent altitude measurement systems.
    (2) At least one automatic altitude control system that controls 
the aircraft altitude--
    (i) Within a tolerance band of 65 feet about an 
acquired altitude when the aircraft is operated in straight and 
level flight under nonturbulent, nongust conditions; or
    (ii) Within a tolerance band of 130 feet under 
nonturbulent, nongust conditions for aircraft for which application 
for type certification occurred on or before April 9, 1997, that are 
equipped with an automatic altitude control system with flight 
management/performance system inputs.
    (3) An altitude alert system that signals an alert when the 
altitude displayed to the flightcrew deviates from the selected 
altitude by more than--
    (i) 300 feet for aircraft for which application for 
type certification was made on or before April 9, 1997; or
    (ii) 200 feet for aircraft for which application for 
type certification is made after April 9, 1997.
    (4) A TCAS II that meets TSO C-119b (Version 7.0), or a later 
version, if equipped with TCAS II, unless otherwise authorized by 
the Administrator.
    (5) Unless authorized by ATC or the foreign country where the 
aircraft is operated, an ADS-B Out system that meets the equipment 
performance requirements of Sec.  91.227 of this part. The aircraft 
must have its height-keeping performance monitored in a form and 
manner acceptable to the Administrator.
    (b) The altimetry system error (ASE) of the aircraft does not 
exceed 200 feet when operating in RVSM airspace.

    Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 40103(b), 
40113(a), and 44701(a) in Washington, DC, on December 10, 2018.
Daniel K. Elwell,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-27401 Filed 12-20-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P