The notam system is changing
The U.S. Notam System (USNS) has undergone significant change over the past year. The FAA replaced its outdated notam system computer and consolidated all notam operations at its Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Herndon, Virginia. The military notam office created the DoD Internet Notam System (DINS) to make the paper notam summaries available on the Internet. These are all part of an ongoing joint FAA/DoD notam improvement program. This program is reviewing every aspect of the notam process from the time airfield management makes the decision to create a notam until aircrew members query the system for notam information. The program’s focus is to develop standardized civil and military notam procedures that will provide all aviators a safe, reliable, and user-friendly method of accessing safety-of-flight aeronautical information.
What’s coming next, and when and how will it effect military users?
- Paper notam summaries are going away. The next DINS software release, scheduled for March 1999, will provide real-time access to the entire U.S. Notam System database. Aircrews will not have to carry a paper copy of FLIP to check if a location is summary reportable. DINS will tell them if the location exists in the USNS and whether or not it has any active notams. The USNS will continue to create the paper notam summaries and distribute them over AWDS and AUTODIN circuits until they are no longer needed or the circuits go away. The paper summaries could not support any of the Web improvements of real-time data update or access to more locations.
- AUTODIN is going away. The Defense Messaging System (DMS), an e-mail-based messaging system, will replace AUTODIN. The USNS transition to DMS in April 1999 should be transparent to field organizations.
- Creating notams on the Internet. We created a non-secure Web site specifically for airfield management personnel . At this site, you will be able to retrieve copies of current notam bulletins (NOBULs), joint notam regulatory guidance, the DINS encryption certificate checklist, and links to the encrypted create notam Web site and the DISA Netscape browser download site. The DINS encryption checklist will guide airfield managers through the DINS security processes to install an encryption key onto their computer and obtain a unit password. The encryption key will allow your base ops computer to talk to the DINS Web server. Every computer a unit intends to use for notam creation must request and install its own unique encryption key. The password ensures only authorized users of the base ops computer are able to modify the notam database. Once a unit has completed the checklist, they will be able to create, cancel, or replace notams using DINS. Minimum system requirements are a 486 PC (Pentium highly recommended) connected to NIPRNET and Netscape 4.0 or higher. You must use Netscape as Internet Explorer will not work and does not comply with the Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) Common Operating Environment (COE) standards. Additional information concerning these standards and a free download of Netscape are available at the Defense Information Systems Agency Web site.
March 23, 1999