NOTAMNOTAM or NoTAM stands for a Notice To Airmen. NOTAMs are created and transmitted by government agencies under guidelines specified by the Aeronautical Information Services of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. A NOTAM is filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of any hazards en route or at a specific location. The authority in turn provides a means of disseminating relevant NOTAM’s to pilots.

As a flight training student you will become familiar with all the different kinds of NOTAMs and the 3 different types of NOTAM categories. NOTAM’s ensure safe flying for a commercial pilot. It is an important thing to know when you are in flight training school.

NOTAMs are issued for a number of reasons. Here is a sample of some important NOTAMs:
  • Hazards such as air-shows, parachute jumps, kite flying, rocket launches, etc.
  • Flights by important people such as heads of state (sometimes referred to as Temporary Flight Restrictions, TFRs)
  • Closed runways
  • Inoperable radio navigational aids
  • Military exercises with resulting airspace restrictions
  • Inoperable lights on tall obstructions
  • Temporary erection of obstacles near airfields (e.g. cranes)
  • Passage of flocks of birds through airspace (a NOTAM in this category is known as a BIRDTAM)
  • Notifications of runway/taxiway/apron status with respect to snow, ice and standing water (a SNOWTAM)
  • Notification of an operationally significant change in volcanic ash or other dust contamination (an ASHTAM
  • Software code risk announcements with associated patches to reduce specific vulnerabilities

Aviation authorities typically exchange NOTAMs over AFTN circuits. Software is available to allow pilots to identify NOTAMs near their intended route or at the intended destination. When computer systems for the air force are updated the software updates are usually referred to as NOTAMs.

Three Categories of NOTAMs

There are three types of NOTAMs that are generated by the FAA. These categories are listed below:

NOTAM (D) – A NOTAM given distant dissemination beyond the area of responsibility of Flight Service Station FSS. NOTAM Ds contain information on all civil public use airports and navigational facilities that are part of the National Airspace System, and are serious enough to affect whether or not an airport or a certain facility is usable.

NOTAM (L) – A NOTAM given local dissemination by voice and other means to satisfy local user requirements. It includes such data as taxiway closures, personnel and equipments near or crossing runways, and airport lighting aids that do not affects instruments approach criteria, such as VASI.

FDC NOTAM – The National Flight Data Center will issue these NOTAMs when it becomes necessary to disseminate information that is regulatory in nature, and they contain such things as amendments to published IAPs and other current aeronautical charts. They are also used to advertise temporary flight restrictions caused by such things as natural disasters or large-scale public events that may generate congestion of air traffic over a site.

This is another helpful article for every flight training student and for everyone who is planning to go to flight training school.