NOtice to A­ir Missions (NOTAMs) getting clearer

NOTAM text
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NOTAMs were cluttered, not current and inconsistent

ICAO and FAA working at modernizing this source of Safety Information

AC on NOTAMs for Airports, a prime example

The FAA has issued an Advisory Circular on the wording of NOTAMs for airports. The details are noted below, and it is useful to put this changes in a broader context.

The FAA and ICAO have been working on modernizing Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) for years. Some of their efforts have been programmatic and others have focused on the standardization of the text. They have established a schedule of implementation (milestone dates?) and have published a list of completed tasks:

modernization and text improvement



We’ve created a single place for pilots, operators, dispatchers, and software developers to find all FAA NOTAMs. This benefits all aviation stakeholders by reducing the number of places pilots need to check for NOTAMs.

Increased accuracy of aeronautical information sources:

  • The agency updated all NOTAM related publications, chats, maps and databases and removed expired NOTAMs. This decreased the number of non-essential NOTAMs that pilots are required to review during pre-flight briefings.
  • Publication of Sectional Aeronautical Charts, VFR Terminal Area Charts, VFR Flyway Planning Charts and Helicopter Routes now publish on 56-day cycles and supports the reduction of chart-related ”permanent” (PERM) NOTAMs.
    NOTAM change team

Principal Changes.

This AC adds new language on the use of PERM NOTAMs (interim NOTAMs associated with the publishing of permanent airport related information).

. A summary of changes is included below:

  1. AC title changed from Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) for Airport Operators to Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) for Airport Operators.
  2. Paragraph 1.4 – PERM NOTAM language information added describing the occurrence when extend period NOTAMs are surpassed.
  3. Paragraph 1.6 – Added new information to the airport operator responsibilities.
  4. Paragraph 1.6.2 – Added new information on Flight Service Stations (FSS) responsibility to contact users on validity of NOTAMs lingering in the NOTAM system.

  1. Paragraph 1.8.3 – Additional information added on determining NOTAM issuance criteria.
  2. Paragraph 2.3.13 – New language added on the PERM NOTAM process and tools for moving PERM NOTAMs from the NOTAM system to the appropriate chart or publication.
  3. Paragraph – Added clarification language and examples on how to apply NOTAM information for spots, gates, or hardstands.
  4. Paragraph 3.2.5 – Added new language on preventing surface condition NOTAMS on a closed runway and multiple NOTAMs for surface condition codes on the same runway.

#11-14 omitted

This AC really does improve NOTAMs directed to airport issues. Removal of dated/expired notices is a significant reduction in the clutter factor that deters the pilots’ receipt of valuable safety information.

NOTAM page

FAA Clarifies Function, Purpose Of NOTAMs

By  Russ Niles

explanation of changes

The FAA has issued new guidance to airports on issuing NOTAMs it says is intended to help pilots navigate them easier and more accurately. The Advisory Circular was issued on May 25 but the agency publicized it over the weekend. The overall intent appears to be to clean up all the expired, inaccurate and confusing NOTAMs clogging ACthe system and ensuring those that do get published serve the intended purpose. “This AC provides guidance on using the NOTAM system for airport condition reporting and procedures used to describe, format, and disseminate information on unanticipated or temporary changes to components of, or hazards in, the National Airspace System (NAS),” the AC says.

The AC clarifies the purpose of NOTAMs, which is “providing timely information on unanticipated or temporary changes to components of, or hazards in, the National Airspace System (NAS).” It stresses that NOTAMs are not a clearinghouse for housekeeping items or to serve any other purpose beyond the broad pursuit of flight safety. “NOTAMs should not be used to impose restrictions on airport access for the purpose of controlling or managing noise or to advertise data already published or charted.” One of the big problems is that airports neglect to take down NOTAMs that no longer apply or have been superseded and Flight Service Stations will be calling around about the “validity of NOTAMs lingering in the NOTAM system.”

current NOTAM at IAD



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