FAA Streamlines its Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) System

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The FAA, in coordination with the FCC, has developed plans to streamline its processes related to Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs), which identify towers with extinguished or faulty lighting. The FCC’s rules require tower owners to notify the FAA within thirty minutes of discovering a lighting outage or malfunction, and take steps to repair the lighting as rapidly as practical. The planned change will enable tower owners to self-select the amount of time their NOTAMs remain active. Currently, tower owners notify the FAA of outages through a web-based form maintained by the FAA and NOTAMs expire after fifteen days. Owners must repeatedly cancel and resubmit NOTAMs when repairs are not complete. As this process creates burdens for FAA and FCC staff that must process and monitor the submissions, it results in the hampering of aviation efficiency and can raise concerns for aviation safety. To increase efficiencies, the FAA intends to revise its web-based NOTAM submission to enable tower owners to self-select the amount of time they need to repair a faulty light. This change will relieve tower owners of the burden to repeatedly cancel and resubmit NOTAMs every fifteen days. The FCC expects this improvement to take effect in mid-January 2015.

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