FAA updates NOTAM format for conflict zones

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced new notice to airmen (NOTAM) header formats for conflict zones and international crisis situations.

New NOTAMs will be shown as an advisory, a prohibition, or a pointer NOTAM that direct the reader to a related special federal aviation regulation (SFAR).

While this format will apply to all new conflict zone and crisis situation NOTAMs issued, there will also be a review of the current NOTAMs to see if any can be canceled or reissued with the new headers. This is a process that requires diplomatic coordination, so it might take some time. If reissuance is appropriate, the reissued NOTAM will follow the new format.

The new headers will use the following formats:

  • Advisory
    FDC 4/[XXXX] [AXXXX/XX] – ZZZ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SECURITY ADVISORY FOR [COUNTRY and/or FIR]
  • Prohibition
    FDC 4/[XXXX] [A00XX/XX] ZZZ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SECURITY PROHIBITION FOR [COUNTRY and/or FIR]
  • SFAR Pointer
    FDC 4/[XXXX] [A00XX/XX] ZZZ SECURITY 14 CFR PART 91.XXXX SPECIAL FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATION NO. XX—[TITLE OF FINAL SFAR, E.G., PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLIGHTS IN THE [COUNTRY AND/OR FIR]]

“These new header formats will help pilots more easily glean the most importation information from the NOTAM,” said John Kosak, an air traffic management specialist at US-based National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). “Is the NOTAM advisory in nature or is the NOTAM a new prohibition? Pilots will be able to quickly determine the critical nature of a NOTAM based on the new header system.”

View FAA’s PilotWeb site for NOTAM information.

Operators who conduct frequent international operations into or over potentially unstable areas should become familiar with the FAA’s prohibitions, restrictions and notices web page, as well as the SFARs that prohibit flights in certain countries or regions. Review the SFARs.

“The international aviation environment is ever-changing,” said Kosak. “Operators must ensure they have current information, including any relevant NOTAMs, prior to operating in areas of potential unrest or conflict.”

The NBAA Air Traffic Services group recommends that its members work closely with flight plan service providers when travelling internationally and use a local handler when possible.

The FAA’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices webpage lists all current NOTAMs related to conflict zones and crisis situations. New NOTAMs published to this page will follow this new format. View the web page.

Posted in Airspace, CAAs/ANSPs, News, Safety, Security

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