Legislation that would establish a task force on improving notices to air missions—and require the FAA to develop and implement a new notam system—is headed to the president's desk.
The House passed the Senate-amended version of H.R. 346, the NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023, on May 22, following the passage of the bill by unanimous consent in the Senate on May 9.
A version of the bill was first introduced in 2021 to establish a task force to improve the notam system, but the bill was never considered by the Senate. After a notam outage grounded airplanes nationwide in January, Reps. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) reintroduced the bill in January which passed the House later that month.
Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) introduced the companion bill in the Senate where it was later amended to include directing the FAA to finish modernizing the NOTAM system and create a backup system by September 30, 2024.
AOPA worked closely with industry stakeholders to include in the Senate version of the bill a realistic, but pressing, timeline for the FAA.
“These changes to the notam system are long overdue,” said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Jim Coon. “AOPA appreciates the bipartisan effort to ensure pilots can feel safe operating in an accurate and updated system.”