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Volume 14,Issue 3 Autumn 2012

CAAC new implementing RVSM starts on November 22nd


The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has begun implementing its new airspace Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) as of midnight, November 22nd. The implementation of the new RVSM for airspace between 8,400 and 12,500 meters from the former 300 and 600 meters was made by the CAAC. This is in accordance with the decision of the Council State, the Central Military Commission and the unified arrangement of the National Airspace Management Commission. By fulfilling RVSM, the number of China’s airspace cruise altitude layers increased to thirteen. This will improve the capacity and utilization rate of China’s airspace, promote reduced flight flow and at the same time prevent flight delays. Before its implementation, China only used seven altitude layers of airspace, making for a low use rate. Aircraft flights are guided by vertical and horizontal separation, which keeps all aircraft routes safe from air collisions. Jetliners, commonly used as modern civil aviation transport, perform well in a cruising altitude layer between 9,000 and 12,500 meters. Their flight times are also based on this altitude rate. Through the RVSM implementation, the flight cruises of these aircraft are properly enhanced. The RVSM implementation will further reduce air and ground delay, increase air traffic flow, lessen air route congestion and flights delay, and increase civil aviation transport efficiency. It will also improve efficiency of air transport operation and lessen aircraft fuel consumption. The effect of RVSM implementation is in line with the energy saving and reduced emission policy requirement being promoted by China. Accordingly, fuel efficiency of aircraft flying below 500 nautical miles could increase 0.7 percent for short-haul flights, while medium and long-haul flights could increase one percent on fuel savings. The RVSM implementation will thus help save aviation fuel. It will also decrease operational expenses of airlines, be environment-friendly, and be an efficient energy saver for the whole air transport industry. The implementation will also be valuable in connecting flight altitude layers between China and its neighboring countries and regions, and improve flight safety in China’s border area. With this development, China is taking strong measures to ensure RVSM safety. Every year, carefully planned preparatory work is done by all concerned civil aviation units. RVSM training has been conducted, instruments and facilities have been upgraded. So far, there are nearly 5,000 air traffic controllers, and 10,000 pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians from China and other support personnel from foreign airlines with open routes to China have received RVSM training from the CAAC.

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