International Operations and Procedures Manual for Flight Operators
Need an authorization to fly? Our International Operations and Procedures Manual is an easy, affordable, and quick solution.
Our RVSM/International Operations Manual (IOM) is designed to be both a reference for pilots flying oceanic routes and a supporting document for any application to request authorizations from your state Civil Aviation Authority. Whether you need procedures for RVSM, RNP-10 / RNP-4, NAT HLA, or a newer technology such as CPDLC or ADS-B Out, the IOM is a perfect choice.
Process Overview for Our International Operations and Procedures Manual
We will customize your IOM to your operation and aircraft to ensure all necessary procedures are included. Both a hard copy and an electronic copy will be provided.
If revisions are required by your state civil organization (FAA, Bermuda, CAA, etc.), we will make those changes at no extra cost and usually within the same business day we receive notification.
To date, our IOM has never been rejected by the FAA. It is also pre-approved by the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA).
A subscription to our IOM Revision Service (eBulletins) is a good companion to our IOM Revision Service. It includes updates to your IOM to keep it current. Released 2-3 times a year, each eBulletin contains valuable information, regulatory updates, and new procedures that affect international operations.
As an added perk, subscribers are eligible for a complimentary Reissue (update) of their IOM when the subscription is renewed – it’s like getting a new manual every time you renew.
Standard control pages, including a Record of Reissue and List of Effective Sections.
Section 1 Organization and Administration
Includes an introduction to the manual design, responsible parties, and a list of compliance documents or applicable regulations to be met.
Section 2 International Operating Procedures
General information on required Letters of Authorization, Special Areas of Operation, preflight procedures, and oceanic operations with a specific focus on the North Atlantic Region.
Section 3 Contingency Procedures
Including procedures for loss of navigation / communication systems or reduction in aircraft performance or capabilities.
Section 4 Pacific Region
Detailed differences between the North Atlantic Region and the Pacific Region are highlighted.
Section 5 Regional Supplementary Information
Additional information for some of the more-frequently-requested areas of operation by our clients, such as the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, etc.
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Not flying internationally, but still need a state approval?
Try one of our other manual options!
Refer to the chart below for a detailed comparison:
|RVSM Operations Manual: Americas Edition||RVSM / International Operations Manual|
|Geographic Regions Covered||North, South, and Central America||Worldwide|
|RVSM Operations Procedures||✔||✔|
|B-RNAV / RNP-5||✔|
|P-RNAV / RNP-1||✔|
|Update Service Available?||✔|
|ADS-B||Add-on Available||Add-on Available|
We know that acronyms can get confusing, so there may be something you need without even knowing it.
ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast)
ADS-B systems broadcast your aircraft’s position to Air Traffic Control (ATC) and other appropriately equipped aircraft / vehicles using new avionics (usually tied to your transponder). There are two types of ADS-B transmissions: ADS-B Out, which refers to transmissions going out from your aircraft, and ADS-B In, which are transmissions that your aircraft can copy if you have the proper equipment.
Virtually all corporate aircraft are required to be ADS-B Out capable in the United States by 2020. There is no requirement to obtain a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for ADS-B Out operations in the domestic United States; however, an LOA is required for most international ADS-B Out operations and all ADS-B In operations.
ADS-C (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract)
This is a Data Link Communications (DLC) application that allows the aircraft to form an automatic position reporting contract with Air Traffic Control (ATC). When enabled, the aircraft will automatically provide data to ATC without further input from the pilots. Although it has some similarity with Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B), the two technologies are different systems and have entirely separate standards, mandates, and requirements.
ATN-B (Aeronautical Telecommunication Network – Baseline)
This is a type of Data Link Communications (DLC) system that provides the aircraft with the capability to perform Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC). It is a digital-based system and it is used in continental European airspace. (See also “VDL-Mode 2”).
B-RNAV (Basic Area Navigation)
Also known as “RNAV-5” or “RNP-5”, it refers to an aircraft’s Required Navigation Performance (RNP) ability in the continental en-route area. A Letter of Authorization (LOA) is not strictly required in all airspaces, but is strongly recommended.
CPDLC (Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications)
This is a Data Link Communications (DLC) application that allows pilots to provide text reports to Air Traffic Control (ATC) in lieu of radio contact. In many airspaces where CPDLC is supported, the preference is for pilots to use CPDLC to send reports to ATC and to receive clearances, with high-frequency radio used as a backup; this helps to alleviate radio congestion. Aircraft operating in the North Atlantic (NAT) Region at or above FL290 will be required to be equipped with CPDLC by January 2020.
CPDLC-DCL (CPDLC Departure Clearances)
CPDLC-DCL provides automated assistance for requesting and delivering initial and revised departure clearances using CPDLC. US Part 91 operators do not currently require a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to use CPDLC-DCL.
DLC (Data Link Communications)
This is an umbrella term that covers various technologies, systems, and mandates, including FANS ATN-B1, LINK 2000+, and more. DLC refers to the aircraft’s ability to communicate with Air Traffic Control (ATC) using Data Link functions – specifically, Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract (ADS-C). DLC systems enhance efficiency and safety resulting in lower costs overall for civil and commercial aviation. Some areas of the world are already requiring that aircraft be DLC capable, and a Letter of Authorization (LOA) is required for DLC operations.
FANS (Future Air Navigation Systems)
This is an analog system that provides Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) capability and is used in remote / oceanic airspace.
This is the European program that requires aircraft operating above FL285 (flight level 285) to be Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) capable by February of 2020. If you receive Data Link Communications (DLC) authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and are equipped with operative ATN-B1 equipment, you will also meet the requirements for LINK 2000+ and do not need to obtain additional authorizations.
Note: LINK-2000+ is the name of a government program only and does not refer to a specific set of avionics. A CPDLC system capable of ATN-B1 Operations (i.e., VDL Mode 2 capable VHF units) may be considered LINK 2000+ compliant.
NAT HLA (North Atlantic High Level Airspace)
This refers to the standards required to operate in the North Atlantic (NAT) region. A Letter of Authorization (LOA) is currently required for NAT operations.
Note: Much of this airspace was previously designated as “NAT Minimum Navigation Performance Specifications (MNPS)” airspace. Operators without a NAT HLA authorization but with MNPS authorization may operate in the NAT HLA until December 31, 2019.
PBN (Performance Based Navigation)
PBN is an umbrella term for Area Navigation (RNAV) / Required Navigation Performance (RNP) specifications and was created to simplify the language used when listing requirements for different airspace. Letters of Authorization (LOAs) may be issued based on the “PBN requirements” of various airspaces.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) categorizes PBN specifications based on the phase of flight (i.e., terminal, en route, oceanic / remote, and approach). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a separate PBN LOA for each phase, and it is recommended that operators obtain an LOA for each phase to clarify their capabilities when operating internationally. For example, although no LOA is required for Part 91 operators to conduct terminal Require Navigation Performance (RNP) operations in the United States, some countries may require an authorization. LOA C063 can be used to demonstrate that the operator is capable of terminal RNP-1 and/or RNAV-1 operations in those countries.
P-RNAV (Precision Area Navigation)
Also known as “RNAV-1”, it refers to an aircraft’s Required Navigation Performance (RNP) ability in the terminal area. A Letter Of Authorization (LOA) is required for P-RNAV operations, especially when operating in Europe.
RNP (Required Navigation Performance)
This is the aircraft’s ability to meet navigation requirements within a specified margin of error, usually indicated by a number (e.g., RNP-10, RNP-4, etc.). It is similar to “Area Navigation” (RNAV) and is included in the term “Performance Based Navigation” (PBN).
Aircraft are required to have an oceanic RNP Letter of Authorization (LOA) to operate on most oceanic routes (e.g., RNP-10/4). RNP operations in other phases of flight may require an LOA as well, per The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s categorization of PBN operations.
RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum)
This is a standard for vertical separation that is usually applied between FL290 (flight level 290) and FL410 (flight level 410). It requires aircraft to meet certain equipment and performance standards, as well as a Letter of Authorization (LOA), to conduct RVSM operations.
VDL (Very High Frequency Data Link) – Mode 0/A
This is the technical specification for an analog-based Data Link Communications (DLC) system utilized by some Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS) installations.
VDL (Very High Frequency Data Link) – Mode 2
This is the technical specification for a digital-based Data Link Communications (DLC) system utilized by Aeronautical Telecommunication Network – Baseline (ATN-B1) and some Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS) installations.
Frequently Asked Questions
You created our RVSM Manual for domestic operations, but now we need international support. Can we upgrade?
Yes. We will ask you to fill out one of our questionnaires to provide us with additional information. We will preserve as much of your existing RVSM maintenance program as we can. You will need to resubmit it to the FAA, but generally it is a faster review compared to a new application.
I thought I was going to get worldwide RVSM approval, but my manual only mentions “Domestic RVSM.” What’s going on?
If you are operating only within the US, you may have a manual or guidance that refers specifically to “Domestic RVSM.” However, the FAA does not issue a “United States RVSM” LOA. They only issue a standard “RVSM LOA” that is applicable worldwide.
Do I need a Letter of Authorization for Data Link / CPDLC (Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications) / FANS (Future Air Navigation Systems) / ADS-C (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract) / Link 2000+?
Yes. These types of operations are referred to by various terms, but they all fall under the umbrella of “Data Link Communications” (DLC). Authorization from your state authority is required for DLC prior to use. In the United States, DLC is controlled by FAA Advisory Circular 120-70.
I have a CPDLC system, but it is only used over land (VHF / VDL). I heard that authorization is only needed for oceanic operations. Do I still need an LOA?
Yes. Any airborne CPDLC operation is a form of Data Link Communications and still requires authorization from the state of registry prior to use.
Is ADS-B the same thing as, or a more advanced version of ADS-C?
Neither. Although there are some similarities in terms of purpose and implementation, ADS-B and ADS-C are two different technologies that utilize separate avionics. Each one has its own set of mandates for operations throughout the world. We offer support services to obtain LOAs for both systems.
Will you apply to the FAA on my behalf?
Because the FAA is providing an operational authorization, they require the Operator or its authorized agent to apply for the LOA. Although we do not formally serve as an agent and thus cannot submit on your behalf, we actively advise and support our customers to ensure a successful submission.
Can you send my manual directly to the FAA?
The FAA typically will not accept a manual if it is not sent by the Operator or their Agent for Service. In some cases, we can send documents to a specific inspector you have already spoken to and is expecting a shipment from us.
What happens if my FSDO doesn’t like the manual?
To date, we have not had any of our manuals denied by the FAA. There may be differences between the various FSDOs. Sometimes they will return your application with an expectation for changes to be made. In those situations, we will make all requested changes at no additional charge. We can usually provide the updated manual within 1 to 2 business days.
How long will it take to get my LOA?
It depends on your local FSDO or IFO. We can prepare a manual and application package in approximately 2-3 business days or less. However, each individual FAA Office and Inspector has a different workload and process. It may take anywhere between 2 weeks or up to 6 months in some cases for the FAA to approve the application.
Is it a requirement to sign up for the IOM Revision Service (eBulletins)?
The Revision Service is optional. We highly recommend it as a cost-effective way to keep your manual up to date. If you do not subscribe to the service and you need to update your manual later, the cost will be much higher than simply purchasing a subscription now.
Note for Bermuda-registered aircraft: The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) requires operators to have a revision service.
Do you ever provide eBulletins for RVSM (Americas Edition) or RVSM / WATRS manuals?
Not yet, although we may in the future. The content in the RVSM (Americas) and RVSM / WATRS manuals does not change as frequently as that of the RVSM / International Operations Manual. However, we do offer an on-demand service to update your RVSM (Americas) or RVSM / WATRS Manual in the event that you need to re-submit it to the FAA or if you want to update the content to the most current standards and best practices.
My eBulletins begin at “No. 02.” Am I missing an eBulletin?
Not necessarily. Prior to November 2012, our eBulletin numbering method started over from 01 at the beginning of each year. From November 2012 and later, the year is placed first followed by the eBulletin number (e.g., #2012-02, #2013-01, #2013-02, etc.). If you are unsure if you are missing an eBulletin, we can double-check your manual against our current list and email a full set to you to bring your manual up to date.
Do I need to re-submit my manual to the FAA when it is reissued?
We carry forward any pages approved by the FAA in each Reissue, so there typically are not any changes that the FAA would need to approve. If you are adding or removing any aircraft, or making other changes to previously-approved pages, then you will need to resubmit to the FAA. If you are a Part 135 operator, any change to your manual will need to be recorded and approved by the FAA, including Reissues.
My manual is very old. Is my LOA expired?
Please check your LOA. Prior to 2008, some LOAs were issued with expiration dates. If all the information on your original LOA is still the same (e.g., company name, aircraft model / registration / serial, aircraft equipment, etc.) and there is no expiration date listed, then you may continue operations with your existing LOA.
I need to make changes to my RVSM Manual. Can you send me a Word document or post it to the Manual Builder Application?
We are not able to release an editable version of the manual because it is copyrighted. However, you can send your changes to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax at +1.240.546.4031. If you need to make changes because of an FAA request, there will not be any charge and the turnaround time will usually be within the same day, and no later than 1-2 business days. If you want to make other changes, we will need to review the desired changes first to provide an estimate of the time and cost.