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    RVSM operations are conducted in RVSM airspace that is defined as any airspace between FL 290 and FL 410 inclusive, where eligible aircraft are separated vertically by 1,000 feet. Controller responsibilities must include but not be limited to the following:

    1. Non-RVSM aircraft operating in RVSM airspace.
      1. Ensure non-RVSM aircraft are not permitted in RVSM airspace unless they meet the criteria of excepted aircraft and are previously approved by the operations supervisor/CIC. The following aircraft are excepted: DOD, DOD-certified aircraft operated by NASA (T38, F15, F18, WB57, S3, and U2 aircraft only), MEDEVAC, manufacturer aircraft being flown for development/certification, and Foreign State aircraft. These exceptions are accommodated on a workload or traffic-permitting basis.

        NOTE: The operations supervisor/CIC is responsible for system acceptance of a non-RVSM aircraft beyond the initial sector-to-sector coordination following the pilot request to access the airspace. Operations supervisor/CIC responsibilities are defined in FAA Order JO 7210.3, Chapter 6, Section 9, Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM).

      2. Ensure sector-to-sector coordination for all non-RVSM aircraft operations within RVSM airspace.
      3. Inform the operations supervisor/CIC when a non-RVSM exception flight is denied clearance into RVSM airspace or is removed from RVSM airspace.
    2. Non-RVSM aircraft transitioning RVSM airspace. Ensure that operations supervisors/CICs are made aware when non-RVSM aircraft are transitioning through RVSM airspace.
    3. Apply appropriate separation standards and remove any aircraft from RVSM airspace that advises it is unable RVSM due to equipment while en route.
    4. Use “negative RVSM” in all verbal ground-to-ground communications involving non-RVSM aircraft while cleared to operate within RVSM airspace.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Point out Baxter21 climbing to FL 360, negative RVSM.”
    5. For the following situations, use the associated phraseology:
      1. To deny clearance into RVSM airspace.
      2. To request a pilot to report when able to resume RVSM.
    6. In the event of a change to an aircraft's RVSM eligibility, amend the RVSM qualifier (“W”) in the ICAO equipment string in order to properly identify non RVSM aircraft on the controller display.

      NOTE: Changing the equipment suffix instead of amending the equipment string may result in incorrect revisions to other ICAO qualifiers.

    7. ATC may allow aircraft to remain in RVSM airspace using reduced vertical separation minima after the loss of a transponder or Mode C altitude reporting.

      NOTE: In a transponder out situation, the aircraft's altitude-keeping capabilities required for flight in RVSM airspace should remain operational.

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