Notice To Airmen
A Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) – is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight. NOTAMs are unclassified notices or advisories distributed by means of telecommunication that contain information concerning the establishment, conditions or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel and systems concerned with flight operations. NOTAMs are created and transmitted by government agencies and airport operators under guidelines specified by Annex 15: Aeronautical Information Services of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (CICA). The term NOTAM came into common use rather than the more formal notice to airmen following the ratification of the CICA, which came into effect on 4 April 1947. Notices to airmen were normally published in a regular publication by each country’s air authorities. A number of developments and amendments to the CICA have resulted in the more automated system available today.
A NOTAM is filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of any hazards en route or at a specific location. The authority in turn provides a means of disseminating relevant NOTAMs to pilots.
NOTAMs are issued (and reported) for a number of reasons, such as:
- hazards such as air shows, parachute jumps, kite flying, lasers, rocket launches, etc.
- flights by important people such as heads of state (sometimes referred to as temporary flight restrictions, TFRs)
- closed runways
- inoperable radio navigational aids
- military exercises with resulting airspace restrictions
- inoperable lights on tall obstructions
- temporary erection of obstacles near airfields (e.g., cranes)
- passage of flocks of birds through airspace (a NOTAM in this category is known as a BIRDTAM)
- notifications of runway/taxiway/apron status with respect to snow, ice, and standing water (a SNOWTAM)
- notification of an operationally significant change in volcanic ash or other dust contamination (an ASHTAM)
- software code risk announcements with associated patches to reduce specific vulnerabilities