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New NOTAM Search Tool a Boon to Pilots

Nov. 25, 2014

Information essential for flight planning just got easier to find with the roll out of the FAA’s latest NOTAM Search capability.

For pilots, NOTAM Search means that the days of rooting around trying to find applicable NOTAMs while planning for a flight are just about over. New functionalities are already in place that significantly improve the NOTAM search process, and by next fall, implementation of all four phases of the new service will be complete. View the NOTAM Search tool.

Thanks in large part to the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, which was signed into law in 2012 and supported by NBAA and other aviation organizations, a NOTAM Improvement Panel was established under the auspices of RTCA. After months of collaboration, the NOTAM task group, in which NBAA played a part, provided many recommendations to be implemented by the FAA.

“NBAA – through the efforts of members of the Access Committee – worked closely with the FAA and the rest of the aviation community in providing input that has led to significant enhancements to the NOTAM Search flight planning tool,” said Bob Lamond, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure. “The result is a product that will benefit every flight operation in the U.S.”

NOTAM Search enhancements currently available include a robust and significantly upgraded Route of Flight Query, according to Lamond. Pilots can now enter their route of flight, adjust the route width and retrieve NOTAMs relevant to their flight path. NOTAM Search will provide all NOTAMs within the buffered flight path, as well as for divert airports.

New filters are also available on NOTAM Search, including the ability to view only those NOTAMs that are effective during a specified time period. Filters for specific keywords (runway, taxiway, “CLSD,” etc.) and classes are also available, and some lengthy NOTAMs related to regulatory notices and air route traffic control facilities may be deleted or included as necessary. An updated user interface has also been implemented, including the use of modern web technology, Google-style searches, multiple layout options and the ability to easily print documents in PDF format.

Upcoming improvements in NOTAM Search will enable aviators to create user profiles, which will allow pilots to save search preferences, save filter and sorting settings, designate preferred airports and more. New filter enhancements will include the ability to search by procedure type and runway characteristics, and the enhanced tool will enable pilots to utilize NOTAM Search on tablets and mobile devices.

“NBAA Members are encouraged to provide operator feedback on the current NOTAM Search site so that we can continue to collect information and provide input for additional improvement,” said Lamond. NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, to be held Feb. 3 to 6, 2015, in San Jose, CA, will feature an FAA-led session on the NOTAM Search resource.

For more information on NOTAM Search, or to provide operator feedback, contact Lamond at (202) 783-9255 or rlamond@nbaa.org.