Updated June 27, 2011
The FAA will be making some changes to the NOTAM system over the next few years with the end goal of modernizing the NOTAM product. This is an overhaul of a product that is of critical use to pilots, dispatchers, and air traffic controllers and will try to balance the diverse needs of the airlines, general aviation, air traffic control, international users, and the military.
The idea, in its most simple form, is to consolidate, streamline and simplify NOTAM entry, quality assurance, and distribution. This is one of the first steps toward the FAA’s NextGen Air Traffic system. Since one of the goals of the new system will be real time aviation system status, modernization of the NOTAM system is a key step.
The first important event in this transition period will occur in January of 2008. At that time, the FAA will align the Distant “D” NOTAM criteria with the ICAO NOTAM criteria. These initial changes will enhance NOTAM interpretation and will provide meaningful information as well as improved reliability and accessibility. There will be 12 specific “keywords” used in NOTAMs. If a keyword is not used, the NOTAM will not be allowed to be published. This will allow customers to design programs that search for specific NOTAMs of particular interest to their operations.
Two changes will be immediate and will impact everyone. First, the FAA is adopting the ICAO definition for aerodrome movement area. This will expand the definition of “D” NOTAMs. Secondly, as a result of the expanded definition of “D” NOTAMS (which will now include taxiways, ramps, aprons and lighting), all current Local “L” NOTAMs (Civil “L” NOTAMs only, not military) will become “D” NOTAMs.
FDC NOTAMs will be unchanged at this time. There will be “pointer” NOTAMs issued that direct people to the location and existence of FDC NOTAMs.
Also, FAA Order 7930.2K (Notices to Airmen), located on the FAA Air Traffic Plans and Publications page, will be re-written by July of 2008.
NBAA will continue to provide additional information and resources as these changes are implemented. News regarding this process can be obtained from the FAA AIM page.