The Senate has advanced the Notam Improvement Act of 2023, which would establish a task force to recommend improvements to the notam system. Senate passage by unanimous consent last week follows House approval in late January.
However, the Senate-passed bill includes amendments to require the FAA to complete its implementation of the new, modernized Federal Notam System and have a backup system in place by Sept. 30, 2024, and to call on the FAA to brief Congress on a plan to improve the ability of the notam system to offer machine-readable and filterable information in the format used by the International Civil Aviation Organization. The two chambers now must either reconcile their bills or the House must pass the amended Senate version.
“The system failure that grounded all flights in January cannot happen again,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), who joined Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) in introducing the Senate version. “The bipartisan Notam Improvement Act creates a task force of experts to develop specific improvements for this critical system, and I’m glad to see it pass the U.S. Senate. I encourage the House to quickly pass this amended version and send it to the President’s desk so we can prevent similar outages in the future.”