Good news for operators flying in RVSM airspace.  A recent article in Aviation International News explains:

“The FAA has enacted a rule to eliminate the requirement for operators to apply for an RVSM authorization when their aircraft are equipped with ADS–B Out systems.

“Continual monitoring enabled by ADS–B Out provides increased height-keeping performance data on an individual aircraft basis”.

Operators of ADS–B Out-equipped aircraft will be able to begin RVSM operations immediately when the new rule is effective on January 22. The RVSM application process itself will in effect be eliminated entirely after Jan. 1, 2020 when all aircraft intending to operate in RVSM and other controlled airspace must be ADS-B equipped.

The FAA estimates this ability to operate without filing an application will lower costs and eliminate the delay caused during the processing of an application for authorization.”

(AIN – by Gordon Gilbert – December 31, 2018)

Each operator would have to determine exactly how this applies to their flight operations – equipment installed, age of aircraft, etc.  A few of the requirements for authorization include two operational independent altitude measurement systems, at least one automatic altitude control, and an altitude alert system.  Requirements for each system vary with age and equipment in the aircraft.

Clarification as well as specific questions related to any flight department would have to be addressed by the FAA.

Details of the rule changes can be found in the Federal Register at this location: