Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM), previously known as “Notice to Airmen”, (changed by the FAA on Dec.2, 2021) are time-critical and are temporary. They may come out without any advanced notice. Prior to any flight, a pilot should check for any NOTAMs pertaining to that flight. This part of the preflight is listed in Part 91.103 Preflight Actions.
Such information in a NOTAM may include hazards such as; airshows, parachute jumps, rocket launches, Presidential or heads of state movement, taxiway and or runway closures, construction, communication or any changes in status for navigation aids, as well as any information for en-route, or landing operations and much more.
NOTAMs are classified into four categories:
NOTAM (D) information pertains to all navigational facilities within the National Airspace System (NAS), and to all public airports, seaplane bases, and heliports listed in the Chart Supplement U.S.
The information in a NOTAM (D) includes taxiway and or runway closures, personnel or equipment near taxiways or runways, airport lighting aids not affecting instrument approach criteria.
These types of NOTAMs are numbered consecutively each month, starting with 001.
This NOTAM is the 16th one issued for the month of May.
FDC NOTAMs are issued by the National Flight Data Center and provide information, but not limited to, navigational chart changes, changes to instrument procedures, airspace, and temporary flight restrictions (TFRs).
These types of NOTAMs are numbered by year and serial number. The first number is the last number of the year when the NOTAM was issued. The second set of numbers is the serial number, beginning with 0001 and continuing through 9999.
A Pointer NOTAM is a NOTAM that points out another NOTAM.
That refers to military airports or NAVAIDs that are part of the NAS.
Examples of other NOTAMs:
GPS (Global Positing System)
SUA (Special Use Airspace)
Um... Wasn’t Aware of that TFR… Don’t be that pilot!
The FAA defines a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) as “A certain area of airspace where air travel is limited because of a temporary hazardous condition, such as a; wildfire or chemical spill; a security-related event such as the United Nations General Assembly; or other special situations.”
Basically, a TFR is a type of NOTAM.
TFR’s can show up at any given time, which are for national security areas, sporting events, VIP movement (i.e. President, Vice President, Heads of state, etc.), firefighting, and more. TFR’s are shown only on digital maps (Skyvector, ForeFlight) by a red circle or box-like shape when active.
There are only two TFR’s in the United States that are permanent:
Walt Disney World, FL
All aircraft, including drones that are not a part of a TFR are prohibited from flying into them. If you do fly into one, you will be intercepted by Military Fighters, and you will lose your Pilot Certificate.
The only aircraft that are allowed to fly in TFR’s are:
Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighting
Search and Rescue, Air Ambulance
Regular scheduled airline and cargo carriers
Or any aircraft that is authorized by ATC (Airshows)
How to check for NOTAMs and TFR’s:
The best place you should go to get the most updated TFR or NOTAM information is by calling Flight Service:
1-800-WX-Brief (1-800-992-7433) · FAA website and click on the Regulations tab (https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies).
Digital charts that you may use, such as: ForeFlight, Skyvector, etc.
FAR Part 91.103 Preflight Action:
States that each pilot in command shall, before the beginning of each flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. This information must include: weather reports/forecasts, fuel requirements, runway lengths, landing/takeoff distance, NOTAM’s/TFR’s (local, and along the route of flight), etc.
ALWAYS! Check NOTAM’s and TFR’s by calling Fight Service for the most current information or go to the FAA website. Make sure that your digital charts i.e. ForeFlight, iFLY GPS are updated and current before you fly.
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