RVSM and VFR cruising altitudes?
Before RVSM, vertical separation was 1000' IFR/IFR & 500' IFR/VFR below FL290; 2000' IFR/IFR & 1000' IFR/VFR FL290 and up. With RVSM it now says that IFR altitudes are odd to the east and even to the west all the way to FL410 which gives a 1000' separation between IFR AC. However, above FL290 VFR cruising altitudes were even before RVSM and this would conflict with RVSM IFR A/C altitudes traveling west (would be the same). I could not find anything that changes VFR cruising altitudes and was wondering if you can tell me what happens to them above FL290 with the RVSM change?
- captsead0nkeyLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
Above FL180, ALL aircraft are operting under IFR Rules. So VFR flight altitudes are not used, even if the aircraft if flying in VMC.
RVSM was the seperation of aircraft above FL290 from 2000' to 1000', thus being able to theroically double the amount of traffic that could opertate in a given area of class A airspace. To be able to fly above FL290, the aircraft has to be equipped with RVSM instruments, which is a very expensive upgrade, and many small carriers still have Non-RVSM aircraft thus being limited to FL290 and below.
- 1 decade ago
In class A airspace in the US you must be IFR above FL 180 with a working transponder and have filed a flight plain, etc. There are exceptions to the rule depending on where you are flying and who is the governing authority of the airspace. i.e. in Afghanistan where we used a combination of FAA and ICAO rules VFR was allowed for civilian up to FL 245 and for military it was as high as they wanted to go but that is not the case for most of the world.