FAA makes local notams available online

December 27, 2007

FAA makes local notams available online

By AOPA ePublishing staff

Pilots will soon be able to get all notams for a given flight from electronic sources, thanks to a change in the status of "local" notams.

Beginning Jan. 28, 2008, all new local, or L, notams will be reclassified as D notams and added to the national notam system. In addition, each new D notam will be preceded by a keyword that indicates the area affected, such as navigation lighting, runway, ramp, or airspace. [ Download a graphical depiction.]

That means for the first time pilots will be able to get all relevant notams, including those that affect only their destination airport, without calling flight service. In the past, pilots who used online briefing sources did not receive local notams, which can include important operational data like taxiway closures.

"AOPA has been advocating for this change for a long time," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "This helps simplify and consolidate information gathering for pilots while alleviating some of the call burden on flight service."

Although new local notams will become part of the national system at 0500 UTC on Jan. 28, existing notams will be entered into the system as FSS is able to validate, reclassify, and publish them. While there is no formal timeline for completing this transition, most L notams should have been reclassified within four months. Existing D notams that have not expired or been updated to include a keyword will then be reissued within the next 30 days.

The change marks the first stage of a three-part plan for updating the notam system. Over the coming years, the FAA also plans to merge the Department of Defense notam system with the civilian system and to fully digitize all notam information to include graphics. The final phases of the projects will not be completed before 2010.

December 27, 2007