June 16, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA is urging pilots to become familiar with changes to the notice to airman (notam) system that will go into effect June 30.
The changes come as the FAA transitions to a notam system “that is more compliant with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization to enable more global consistency in notams,” the FAA said in a notice of the scheduled format changes.
Some notam language will change, “and should result in easier to read and understand notams” when the revisions become effective, the FAA said.
Under the FAA’s new order, notams relating to standard instrument departures (SIDs), graphic obstacle clearance departures (ODPs) and standard terminal arrivals (STARs) will be issued as Flight Data Center (FDC) notams, instead of as D (distant) notams.
New keywords ODP, SID, STAR, CHART, DATA, IAP, VFP, ROUTE, and SPECIAL will be added. The keyword RAMP will be replaced with the keyword APRON.
Components of an instrument landing system (ILS) in a notam will be distinguished by preceding the component (e.g. glideslope) with “ILS” followed by “RWY” and the runway number.
Friction Measuring Device notams for reporting a friction measuring device out of service must not contain the name of nomenclature of the device.
Wind shear detection systems LLWAS, TDWR, and WSP will be described in notams as a microburst/wind shear detection system.
AOPA urges all pilots to become familiar with the changes especially because notams on SIDs, ODPs, and STARs will appear as FDC notams.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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