September 12, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA Safety Team is advising pilots of several changes to the format of notices to airmen and the contractions used in notams. The revisions, which take effect Oct. 1, were "designed to harmonize the U.S. system" with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards "and make notams more easily read," the FAA said.
The most significant changes will affect notams about field conditions (FICON notams), the FAA said. During periods when field conditions are not being reported, a FICON notam may be originated for a pilot-reported condition, with the words "pilot reported" preceding FICON. The notam’s expiration time must not exceed 12 hours.
The FAA notice detailing the changes contains a list of reportable surface contaminants and explains the presentation of items including the notam’s effective time and expiration, and units of measurement used (for example, when a measurement in feet is given, "500 will change to 500FT"; when a measurement in miles is given, "5 will change to 5NM").
The new format will add runway lengths and declared distances to information about runways with displaced thresholds so pilots will not have to calculate the new distances.
Changes have also been made to the presentation of altitudes, with affected altitudes shown between lower and upper limits. For example, "1000/BLW will change to SFC - 1000FT."
Newly included in notam content will be information affecting Traffic Information Service and Flight Information Service broadcasts (TIS-B and FIS-B). TIS-B information augments automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data in equipped aircraft. TIS-B collects and displays weather and operational information.
AOPA urges members to review the changes before the Oct. 1 effective date. See the FAA Safety Team’s notice for details.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Safety and Education,
FAA Information and Services,
The FAA encourages pilots to do a number of things in order to increase safety, but does not require them. Check out these three actions that are recommended.
Among the very first lessons a pilot learns is that a control yoke is not a steering wheel. Research underway in Europe could change that.
AOPA President Mark Baker and AOPA Foundation Executive Director Jim Minow are challenging one another to see who can recruit the most Hat in the Ring Society members for the foundation before the end of the year.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>