Volume 44 | Thursday, February 10th, 2022
NOTAM Improvement Updates
Welcome back to Jump Seat. In this edition, we are sharing updates on multiple NOTAM Improvement projects that have been in the works over the past year. In April 2021, ICAO kicked off their NOTAM 2021 effort with a goal to enhance the quality of NOTAMs. There is also a similar but separate NOTAM improvement project, the FAA NOTAM Modernization effort, which we first shared with you via Jump Seat in September 2020. 
The Plan 

How did ICAO’s Global Campaign on NOTAM improvement intend to address this growing safety concern of “old” NOTAMs? The first step included identifying the factors that lead to ‘old’ NOTAMs. They were found to be primarily inclusive of the below:

  • EST NOTAM that has not been canceled or replaced before the date-time specified in ITEM C 
  • PERM NOTAM that has not been transferred to the AIP or other appropriate publication 
  • Routine NOTAM incorrectly promulgated for longer than 3 months  

Regional offices were engaged to identify and remove old and very old NOTAMs and their efforts were largely met with success.  

Phase I Program Conclusions 

However, in last year’s wrap up of the first phase of the ICAO NOTAM 2021 effort, the following insight was shared about what has led to an actual increase in old NOTAMs and steady decrease in very old NOTAMs since January of 2021.  

This effort concluded that a natural increase of old NOTAMs has occurred with the increase of NOTAMs in general over the past 6 months. This, and the need for improved systematic review mechanisms, better Quality Management Systems and training have been found to be barriers to preventing overall numbers of old NOTAMs from growing while regional offices attempt to rid the system of existing old NOTAMs. In short, there is more work to do, and it begins with guidance on the production of NOTAMs. That considered, there have been several global pockets of success in eliminating older NOTAMs throughout Western and Central Africa, Europe and NAT, and the Middle East regions.  

Timeline and Plans for the Future 

Long-term focus: A “Concept of Operations” document is under development by the ICAO Information Management Panel Working Group A to plan a NOTAM Replacement System that is estimated for the year 2028. The focus is updating guidance on the baseline on release of Aeronautical Information (AI). Short-term focus of Working Group A includes a second effort to pursue smaller efforts that can be done within the next couple months to a year to maintain progress. 

Update on the FAA NOTAM Modernization Effort 

In September 2020 we shared via Jump Seat information following the FAA Summit. This article detailed the plans for FAA NOTAM Modernization effort. If you recall, field condition (FICON) NOTAMs were first planned to be addressed followed by a transition to ICAO formatted NOTAMs.  The FICON NOTAM improvement and transition to ICAO formatting are still planned, however, the current timeline has been adjusted:  

  • Phase I in Spring of 2022: ICAO formatted NOTAMs will be provided as an additional set and will reduce the need to issue 2 FICON NOTAMs  
  • Phase II in December of 2024: Publish all NOTAMS in the ICAO format   
An integral part of NOTAM modernization effort from the FAA in 2021 has been technology-based. In July 2021 we saw the implementation of a single machine interface for NOTAMs now found in the SWIFT Portal, formerly the SWIM Cloud Distribution Service (SCDS). Data sets provided in the portal have also been made available via an Application Programming Interface (API). ARINCDirect’s flight planning engine utilizes SWIM feed data to display latest route information.  

Both NOTAM improvement efforts in 2021 have marked an effort globally to reduce waste, increase ease of NOTAM review, and ensure safe practices. What we have learned through 2021 from both of these NOTAM improvement efforts is that there is more work left to do.

Check out some of the links provided below for more information and updates on each of these programs. For help interpreting NOTAMs or engaging our NOTAM filtering feature, please contact our Flight Operations group 24x7 at 1-866-321-6060 or +1 410-266-2266.
Did you know?
  • The FAA shared this example of how the domestic and ICAO NOTAM translate.
Useful Links
Thank you for reading!