March 31, 2021

The International Civil Air Organization (ICAO) will soon launch the Global Campaign on NOTAM improvement (NOTAM2021) to enhance their effectiveness, usefulness and reliability. According to ICAO, on any given day, there are 35,000 active NOTAMs in the global air transport system, and in 2020, the total number of NOTAMs issued exceeded 1.7 million.

NOTAM2021 officially kicks off with a webinar at 8 a.m. (EDT) April 8. Learn more about the webinar.

Mark Zee, founder of OPSGROUP, said industry engagement is critical to the initiative’s success.

“Over the last few years, as many as 10,000 pilots and dispatchers have supported a move to fix NOTAMs. Your voice has been heard: this work is the result. Now, we need your support for this campaign – to reinforce the message that as an industry, we really care about this,” said Zee. “In the Global Campaign on NOTAM Improvement, our aim is to solve the NOTAM problem in manageable chunks, gathering energy as we solve them and make progress. Rather than re-invent the wheel, we will fix the system from within, starting with the easier aspects and progressing from there.”

In the United States, the FAA and industry worked together to improve NOTAMs through the Aeronautical Information System (AIS) Reform Coalition in a similar manner. Heidi Williams, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure, said this paved the way for global efforts.

“The energy and collaboration around modernizing the NOTAM system is at an all-time high,” said Williams. “These efforts have garnered a lot of energy and passion, not just domestically, but we hope globally. This workshop will bring together the rest of the world for a global effort.”

While the FAA and industry have made considerable progress to improve NOTAMs, both Williams and Zee said it is time to increase focus on international harmonization and global improvements.

The Global Campaign is a partnership between ICAO, OPSGROUP, the International Federation of Aeronautical Information Management Associations and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations.