Everything You Need to Know about NOTAMs

Relevant Discussion: AIM 5-1-3, JO 7930.2, AC 150/5200-28

NOTAM Definition: Time-critical information that is either temporary in nature or not known sufficiently in advance to permit publication on aeronautical charts or other publications.

Notam (D):

  • Information is disseminated for all navigational facilities that are part of the National Airspace System (NAS) and all airports listed in the Chart Supplement.
  • They remain available for the duration of their validity or until published. Once published, the notam data is deleted from the system.
  • Airport operators are responsible for observing, reporting and ultimately canceling notam (D) information.
  • Information includes such data as taxiway closures, personnel and equipment near or crossing runways, and airport lighting aids that do not affect instrument-approach criteria, such as a VASI.
  • All notam (D)s must have one of the keywords listed in TBL 5-1-1 (AIM 5-1-3) as the first part of the text after the location identifier.

FICON notam — field condition notam: (JO 7930.2R, para. 5-1-4)

  • Notams that communicate runway and taxiway conditions during snow or ice events.
  • May also contain information concerning plowed runway and taxiway widths and snowbanks.
  • “Field condition notam,” aka “movement area notam,” aka “aerodrome condition notam.”

FDC (Flight Data Center) notams:

  • Regulatory in nature.
  • Contain such things as amendments to published IAPs and other current aeronautical charts.
  • Also used to advertise temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) caused by such things as natural disasters or large-scale public events that may generate a congestion of air traffic over a site.

Pointer notams:

  • Highlight or point out another notam, such as an FDC or notam (D). Assist users in cross-referencing important information that may not be found under an airport or navaid identifier.
  • Keywords in pointer notams must match the keywords in the notam that is being pointed out. For example, the keyword in pointer notams related to temporary flight restrictions is “airspace.”

SAA notams:

  • Issued when Special Activity Airspace will be active outside the published schedule times and when required by the published schedule (e.g., MOA activity).
  • Pilots are still responsible to check published schedule times for Special Activity Airspace as well as any notams for that airspace.

Military notams:

Pertaining to U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine and Navy navigational aids and airports that are part of the National Airspace System.

Notam numbering system, FDC notams:

Organized by year and then by a computer-selected (sequential) number.

Notam (D)s — The first two digits are the month issued. The following numbers represent the number of notams issued for that month.

Note: Apps such as ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot and WingX Pro7 can automatically categorize and translate notam hieroglyphics into plain English.

NTAP — notices to airmen publication:

Published by Mission Support Services, ATC Products and Publications, every 28 days. Data of a permanent nature can be published in the NTAP as an interim step between publication cycles of the Chart Supplement and aeronautical charts. The NTAP is divided into four parts:

  • ATC Products and Publications. This part contains selected FDC notams that are expected to be in effect on the effective date of the publication. It is divided into three sections: (1) airway notams, (2) procedural notams and (3) general notams.
  • Revisions to minimum en route IFR altitudes and changeover points.
  • International notams.
  • Graphic notices compiled by ATC Products and Publications. Composed of six sections: (1) general, (2) special military operations, (3) airport and facility notices, (4) major sporting and entertainment events, (5) airshows, and (6) special notices.

Also note: “Wie until ufn” means “with immediate effect until further notice.”

The letters “ZZZ” appearing after the notam number indicate the notam was issued by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).


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