The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) applauds congressional passage of the NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023, which directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to improve the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) system.
The bill now heads to President Biden, who is expected to sign it.
An NBAA-backed amendment in the bill calls for a deadline of Sept. 30, 2024, for the FAA to implement a new Federal NOTAM System (FNS), with an accompanying backup system to mitigate the impact of any primary system outages.
“This vital legislation will ensure the NOTAM system operates with the most up-to-date technology available to make it more resilient and create a safer National Airspace System (NAS) for all operators,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.
“We thank all those who supported this bill, including House sponsors Rep. Pete Stauber (R-8-MN) and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-10-CA), as well as Senate sponsor Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Shelley Moore Caputo (R-WV),” he added.
NOTAMs provide real-time information about airports and airspace to help ensure a flight is conducted safely. However, several flaws in the current system were revealed in January, when the FAA issued a nationwide ground stop in the NAS following a widespread system outage.
Also included in the final bill is an association-supported amendment that acknowledges the work by a longstanding industry coalition to overhaul NOTAMs and prioritize safety-focused information.
This group – led by NBAA Senior Director of Air Traffic Services and Infrastructure Heidi Williams, and composed of representatives from general aviation, commercial airline, ATC and regulatory stakeholders – submitted its recommendations to the FAA in 2020.
The FAA subsequently began to modernize the NOTAM process, including the implementation of the coalition’s recommendation of an Aeronautical Information Systems Office within the FAA Air Traffic Organization as a central location for operators to address questions about aeronautical information.