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ATC Guide page 2


RVSM stands for Reduced Vertical Separation Minima and refers to reduced vertical separation standards between FL290 (29,000') and FL410 (41,000').  Until recently cruising levels in most of the world for IFR traffic were separated by 1,000' up to FL290 and then by 2,000' thereafter.  With incresing demands on airspace and better technology to monitor altitude ICAO has allowed selected operators and certified aricraft to use 1,000' separations up to FL410. See the next section for a table of cruising levels. RVSM is being introduced progessively around the world, and now applies in all Australian FIR's. The graphic below indicates the status of RVSM implemenation.


All Compass jet aircraft are RVSM approved. Pilots should plan to fly at the appropriate levels to/from the border of RVSM/non-RVSM airspace. Actual level changes may be directed by ATC at some distance from FIR boundaires to allow for proper establishment of cruising levels prior to aircraft crossing the FIR boundary.

World wide status of RVSM

RVSM has now been implemented in the Europe and EUR/SAM corridors as of 0001Z 24 Jan 02. Compass pilots should now plan using RVSM levels when operating in European airspace.

Implementation is now nearly complete worldwide. RVSM will be introduced in Africa during 2006 and in China TBA. RVSM will replace the current metric levels used in Chinese airspace.

RVSM Cruising Levels
ICAO Cruising Levels (RVSM)
Non-RVSM Cruising Levels
ICAO Cruising Levels (non - RVSM)

Transiting from RVSM to non-RVSM Airspace

The following 2 diagrams detail level changes on leaving RVSM airspace. Where more than one level is shown the new level is at pilot discretion, which will depend on weather and optimum cruising level.

RVSM to non-RVSM east
RVSM to non-RVSM west

Transiting from non-RVSM to RVSM Airspace

The following 2 diagrams detail level changes on entering RVSM airspace. Where more than one level is shown the new level is at pilot discretion, which will depend on weather and optimum cruising level.


non-RVSM to RVSM east
non-RVSM to RVSM west

Chinese Cruising Levels

Chinese airspace uses non-ICAO metric levels.  Flights transiting Chinese airspace should use the levels in the diagram below. Also note that headings are in true, rather than magnetic.  A conversion table for transiting from one to the other is also provided.

Cruising levels in Chinese airspace
Chinese-ICAO Conversion Chart

Russian/CIS Cruising Levels

Crusing levels in Russian airspace, and countries of the former USSR are also in metric and headings in degrees true.  Also included is a diagram of altitude changes to be made when entering or leving such airspace to the standard ICAO levels.

Russian/former USSR cruising levels
Russian - ICAO Conversion chart


When choosing a server to connect to we reccomend using an utility such as ServInfo to determine the response times of available servers. The Oceania server currently appears to be the best performing server for Australian and New Zealand users.

There have been recent changes to RW servers. To help reduce the effect of such changes VATPAC have set up three aliases:

Pilots should connect to in the first instance. If this server fails or is overloaded then a co-ordinated move will be made to rw2 and then rw3.

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