Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC, March 23, 2023 – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation unanimously approved this week amendments proposed by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and industry stakeholders on legislation to improve the nation’s Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system.
The amendments to Senate Bill 66, the NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023, call upon the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to complete implementation of an overhauled and substantially improved Federal NOTAM System (FNS) that is a critical aviation safety tool for users of the National Airspace System (NAS).
NOTAMs provide real-time information about airports and airspace to help ensure a flight is conducted safely. However, several flaws in the current system were revealed in January, when the FAA issued a nationwide ground stop in the NAS following a widespread system outage.
One amendment approved March 22 calls for an accelerated deadline of Sept. 30, 2024, for the FAA to implement a new FNS, with an accompanying backup in place to mitigate the impact of such primary system outages.
Another amendment proposed by NBAA acknowledges the work by a longstanding industry coalition to overhaul NOTAMs and prioritize safety-focused information.
This group – led by NBAA Senior Director of Air Traffic Services and Infrastructure Heidi Williams, and comprised of representatives from general aviation, commercial airline, ATC and regulatory stakeholders – submitted its recommendations to the FAA in 2020.
The FAA subsequently began to modernize the NOTAM process, including the implementation of the coalition’s recommendation of an Aeronautical Information Systems Office within the FAA Air Traffic Organization as a central location for operators to address questions about aeronautical information.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen thanked the Senate committee for approving the amendments, and commended S.66 sponsor Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and bill co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Shelley Moore Caputo (R-WV).
“This legislation is an important opportunity to address and remedy current NOTAM limitations through careful application of the latest technologies,” he said. “We must ensure that NOTAMs are not only readily available to pilots, but that the system is also resilient and relevant, with prioritization of the most critical safety information focused on operational requirements.”
S.66 is the Senate version of House Resolution 346, introduced by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-8-MN) and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-10-CA) and passed by the House in January. The amended bill next moves to the Senate floor for consideration.
“We further thank Reps. Stauber and DeSaulnier, House Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rep. Garret Graves (R-6-LA) and member Rep. Rick Larsen (D-2-WA) for their leadership on this matter, and look forward to working with them to move an amended bill through the House,” Bolen said.
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 company and professional members and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at nbaa.org.
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