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4 Answers

RVR VS. RVV

Asked by: 1297 views Instrument Rating

What's the difference between runway visual range (RVR) and runway visual value (RVV)? After reading about them in the instrument procedures handbook (p.1-10), I have done some research on the web, but it's still a little confusing. As far as I know, flights operating under part 121 or 135 use RVR as their approach visual minimum, but the handbook states "RVV is used in lieu of prevailing visibility in determining minimums for a particular runway." In what aspects do they exactly differ, and how are they used differently in the actual commercial aviation world?

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4 Answers



  1. Jim F. on Jan 26, 2017

    I didn’t know, so a quick search reveled this question previously asked and answered by Wes: http://www.askacfi.com/32035/visibility-3.htm

    “In the simplest terms, the RVR value is the distance a pilot will see down the runway from the approach end. It is based on the sighting of either high intensity runway lights or on the visual contrast of other targets.

    RVV is the distance down the runway that a pilot can see unlighted objects.

    See Instrument Procedures Handbook, p. 2-8”

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  2. Best Answer


    Jim F. on Jan 26, 2017

    Oh, and in the commercial world (121/135), RVR allows for operations below 1/2 mile, while RVV is treated no different than airport visibility, so anything under 1/2 doesn’t help.

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  3. Lemontree on Jan 26, 2017

    Thanks Jim for your answers. Actually, I already saw the answer you linked but couldn’t find a source for the statement that “RVV is the distance down the runway that a pilot can see unlighted objects.” Nowhere in the IPH says RVV is based on unlighted objects. So I needed a second opinion. Thanks.

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  4. GiancarloG on Sep 19, 2017

    This is from the Pilot/Controller Glossary:

    Runway Visibility Value (RVV)− The visibility determined for a particular runway by a transmis-someter. A meter provides a continuous indication of the visibility (reported in miles or fractions of miles) for the runway. RVV is used in lieu of prevailing visibility in determining minimums for a particular runway.

    Runway Visual Range (RVR)− An instrumen-tally derived value, based on standard calibrations, that represents the horizontal distance a pilot will see down the runway from the approach end. It is based on the sighting of either high intensity runway lights or on the visual contrast of other targets whichever yields the greater visual range. RVR, in contrast to prevailing or runway visibility, is based on what a pilot in a moving aircraft should see looking down the runway. RVR is horizontal visual range, not slant visual range. It is based on the measurement of a transmissometer made near the touchdown point of the instrument runway and is reported in hundreds of feet. RVR is used in lieu of RVV and/or prevailing visibility in determining minimums for a particular runway.

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