FAA Preps for Changes in Notam System

 - December 17, 2019, 12:13 PM

Key changes are ahead for notices to airmen (Notam), including the consolidation into a single gateway, as part of a larger modernization effort of the system, the FAA announced. The agency, which established an office in November to serve as the single source for Notams and aeronautical information, said these changes come at the behest of Congress in an effort to consolidate access to safety-critical information, improve the presentation of information, and align the system with international standards.

The changes will be phased in over the next couple of years but begin with the planned sunset of the Pilot Web Notam System on January 24. At that point, pilots will use Notam search to access all Notams, the FAA said.

In June, the FAA plans to turn off additional feeds to Notam manager to create a single technology gateway for entering, processing, and retrieving all Notam data. “We will have a single Notam repository, with searching/sorting/archiving/filtering capabilities, and with single machine-readable and human-readable formats,” the agency said.

Plans call to clean up and simplify the database with the removal of duplicative information found in Chart Supplements. That initiative is set to begin in March. In addition, the FAA will cancel PERM Notams to eliminate redundancy.

Longer-term, the FAA plans to align the format of domestic Notams to match the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) format in January 2021 and complete alignment with ICAO by 2022. At this point, all Notams are expected to be published in ICAO format, including regulatory/Flight Data Center Notams.

“We will have a single Notam repository, with searching/sorting/archiving/filtering capabilities, and with single machine-readable and human-readable formats,” the agency said.

The agency outlined these changes last month during its first Data Optimization Summit that drew hundreds of attendees either live or via the web. A second summit is anticipated this upcoming summer.

“This was more than an important step in changing the way pilots receive Notams to safely navigate the national airspace,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure, who leads the industry-wide Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) Coalition. “What we’re doing on Notam modernization has far-reaching impacts that extend beyond the domestic airspace.”