A Field Guide to NOTAMs

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ahramin
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A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by ahramin »

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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by Beefitarian »

Nice.

I particularly enjoyed that example where they corrected a height from 1732' to 1733'. I was going to fly over it but in light of the notam, maybe we better go around it.
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co-joe
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by co-joe »

The notam system IS fucked. Period. And Navcanada just made it worse.
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digits_
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by digits_ »

The text sounds logical, but then you start wondering: what are you going to leave out? The NOTAM system is not only built for airlines, but also for low level helicopter traffic. They might care about power lines that are unmarked or cranes right next to the grass field where they will be working.

The biggest issue I think, is that the data is not represented properly. Every notam is somehow linked to a location and an altitude. Smart software should be able to filter out which of those would be pertinent to the flight. The problem there is, once again, liability. If a notam gets missed, whose fault is it? The person issuing the notam for not specifying the paramter appropriately? The software interpreting the notam wrongly? The pilots tursting the software?

Compare it a bit to the internet if you wish. If we were still using the same systems as when it was first conceived, it would have become unusable by now. But technology evolved, and while we are still using HTML to pass information along, we also have search engines to search through the always growing hump of information.

That is what is missing. You'll never be able to prevent pollution at the source -nobody will want to take the responsibility-, but the data needs to be tagged better so it can be automaticaly processed reliably.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by photofly »

digits_ wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:49 pm
The text sounds logical, but then you start wondering: what are you going to leave out? The NOTAM system is not only built for airlines, but also for low level helicopter traffic. They might care about power lines that are unmarked or cranes right next to the grass field where they will be working.
I am very open to hear from a low level helicopter pilot who searches for (or cares about) NOTAMs for a crane or power line next to the grass field where they will be working.
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digits_
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by digits_ »

Would you care to give an exhaustive list of what kind of notams are essential?

Or, alternatively, an exhaustive list of "garbage" notams?

I'm pretty confident there will be exceptions to both lists. It would be nice if you could prove me wrong!
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tired of the ground
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by tired of the ground »

digits_ wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:37 pm
Would you care to give an exhaustive list of what kind of notams are essential?
I don't think we need an exhaustive list. I think it's actually very simple. We don't need 300 notams about closed taxiways and burnt out taxi lights, which I can't and don't care to memorize. The controllers will know which taxiways not to clear us onto and so it isn't an issue at controlled airports. We also don't need to know about altitudes that change by 3 ft and other ridiculous things. Save it for the next chart update. Save everything for the next chart update unless it's an actual hazard to aircraft.

I want to look at an airport notam for 30 seconds and know if there is an actual hazard to my aircraft. The only thing that should be on there is runway closures, runway exit closures, unservicable approaches and anything within protected airspace. Everything else is a CYA exercise by administration.
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ahramin
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by ahramin »

What is clear is that there is a need for a system to communicate essential flight safety information that cannot wait for the next update cycle. This system used to be NOTAMs, but now NOTAMs are so full of garbage that there is effectively no system. Perhaps we need a new system that sends out essential flight safety information in plain text, and leave the old NOTAM system in place for all the old garbage. Eventually airports would tire of publishing useless garbage in archaic format and we could retire the NOTAM system, leaving only the new system.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by Beefitarian »

Well it's flawed but that's modern life isn't it? If a thing is a CYA item they need to mix it in to force us to read everything.

If it was seperated out almost no one would read it and they would not be doing their due diligence. Regardless of how seemingly trivial.

True enough if a heavy airliner is close enough to a small tower there might be a problem that can't be prevented by a notam. And I agree if a guy flying a helicopter is going to hit a 35 foot tall crane, writing a notam probably won't prevent that.

Still they are there to alert everyone there is a crane/tower/snail track/whatever and maybe it will help us think about the thing and look out for it.

The unreasonable amount of extras will probably get worse instead of going away.
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digits_
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by digits_ »

tired of the ground wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:32 am
digits_ wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:37 pm
Would you care to give an exhaustive list of what kind of notams are essential?
I don't think we need an exhaustive list. I think it's actually very simple. We don't need 300 notams about closed taxiways and burnt out taxi lights, which I can't and don't care to memorize. The controllers will know which taxiways not to clear us onto and so it isn't an issue at controlled airports. We also don't need to know about altitudes that change by 3 ft and other ridiculous things. Save it for the next chart update. Save everything for the next chart update unless it's an actual hazard to aircraft.

I want to look at an airport notam for 30 seconds and know if there is an actual hazard to my aircraft. The only thing that should be on there is runway closures, runway exit closures, unservicable approaches and anything within protected airspace. Everything else is a CYA exercise by administration.
If you are unable to make an exhaustive list as a pilot, then how do you expect non-pilots to determine what is and is not important?

Taxiway closures are nice to know in some circumstances. It can help you to request a different runway depending on where you are going on the field.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by photofly »

"Nice to know in some circumstances" doesn't meet the "essential" bar, even slightly.
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ahramin
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by ahramin »

photofly wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:01 pm
"Nice to know in some circumstances" doesn't meet the "essential" bar, even slightly.
Exactly
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by goingnowherefast »

The vast majority of NOTAMs are ignored by a vast majority of pilots. Yet, nobody seems to care.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by corethatthermal »

Th PC and especially the CYA Lawyers are running the show just like the pedo check for flying young kids around at a COPA event. AND when the shit hits the fan , money and power will fix anything ( think Boeing and the max )
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by digits_ »

photofly wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:01 pm
"Nice to know in some circumstances" doesn't meet the "essential" bar, even slightly.
Ok. What is truly essential then?

If a taxiway closure makes an fbo unreachable, that is essential for my trip.

A temoorary weight limitation on certain taxiways might be useless information for general aviation, but a 737 pilot might think otherwise.
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ahramin
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by ahramin »

Essential for flight safety. I'm sure your FBO would inform you if the airport had blocked all access. If a taxiway cannot handle a 737, ATC will not clear it onto that taxiway. There are many ways of dealing with trip planning details, the point of NOTAMs is supposed to be safety items important enough that they need to be highlighted rather than buried.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by Gannet167 »

There needs to be a means of filtering notams so only relevant ones for a particular flight are displayed.

We will never convince the lawyers and bureaucrats to stop publishing BS on a whim. For them it's pure CYA and pass along the responsibility and liability to pilots. That way during an investigation they can always point to the vital info, buried on page 14 of the notams, camouflaged in a sea of horseshit and blame the pilot. It's like having to watch a 2 hour movie because you need to hear one line that one actor says at some random point.

The irony is, the "more is better" mentality only makes it less safe. With the number of notams exponentially growing, there's greater chances I'll miss the important notam about the runway being shortened because there's notams about things like grass cutting creating so much visual noise. Despite reducing safety, the airport authority will continue to publish grass cutting notams, they don't want to be sued because of a lawnmower. So in it goes.

ICAO needs to show some leadership and change the circa 1924 (literally) notam format so it's less cryptic, more standardized, and allows for searchable quiries that reliably and consistently can filter out irrelevant notams. This isn't a complex task. A first year computer science student could probably set it up in their spare time.

With a proper filter system, if you're flying a 737 from a major Int'l airport, IFR to another major Int'l airport, you can filter out all the notams on cranes, grass cutting, that parking position D29 on the cargo ramp cannot take An-124, that the tower controller's birthday is on Saturday, etc. I just don't care.

Simmilarly, the low level VFR helo pilot can filter out that Rwy 24R is 4000' shorter with a displaced threshold. I'm sure he doesn't care. Maybe he does care that there's a crane 5nm away from the runway that's 136' high. If it doesn't penetrate an IFR obstacle surface (which would trigger a corresponding notam raising minimums or departure climb gradients etc.) then the crane couldn't be less important to me.

The growth in the number of notams is getting out of hand and soon you'll need an hour briefing with a lawyer before going flying.

Less is more. But for CYA reasons, the people publishing notams will always go with "if in doubt, publish". The information overload is creating a safety issue, not improving safety. Pilots need a reliable and consistent way to filter what is essential to them.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by Gannet167 »

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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by fish4life »

Perfect example is why when a runway is closed and they disable all the approaches do they have to publish a separate Notam for every damn approach to that runway, just say all approaches for runway 30 are U/S Until x time.

Or my personal pet peeve is something that should be on the chart since it’s been a notam for 10 years like the threshold of 23 in YYZ
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by goingnowherefast »

Has anybody submitted an SMS report with their company about this NOTAM crap?
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corethatthermal
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by corethatthermal »

What about categorizing the notams like VFR and IFR area and on airport and further arrange them from most relevant to least relevant from new notams to older notams ?
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by iflyforpie »

They should put them in the ATIS instead.

I really liked the one where they said you had to descend via the STAR.... that thing where paranoid controllers won’t clear you below the restrictions and most aircraft are VNAV protected anyways.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by jakeandelwood »

How about Nav Canada make something easy for a change and provide a clickable link in the notam box on their flight planning page to the new notam site, instead of having it still let you enter the airport you want notams for and just going to a notam that says there is no more notams here. But shit, they've even made you can even print that off to keep for future reference if you'd like, in case you've forgotten there are no notams there anymore.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by fliter »

Why not list them by categories? Runway closures, runway threshold displacement, taxiway closures, changes to approach minima... something like that. And then sort by relevance within the category. And maybe some colour-coding? And maybe make the info visual. Wouldn't it be nice to open a Jeppesen chart on your EFB, and have it communicate with the NOTAM system and highlight closed runways and taxiways in red?.. And same for the NOTAMs with useless coordinates... do it with SIGMETs too... Ah, one can dream, I suppose.
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Re: A Field Guide to NOTAMs

Post by AirFrame »

And the headings in plain language, along with the NOTAMs themselves.

A selection box that lets you identify your aircraft type, and have NOTAM's auto-select things that are relevant. A Cessna 150 won't care about a ramp weight restriction, for example. Or that the helipad is closed. Or that JetA isn't available.

I agree with pulling all the NOTAM's that have been there forever and don't need to be repeated... 737 Max8, RWY 03 at YYJ, etc.
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