You are on page 1of 7

(C) BDA 2010

Understanding NOTAMs
1. NOTAM
NOTAMs are important for pilots, flight coordinator, flight follower , flight dispatcher and ATC.
Understanding how to read them is paramount for safety and proper flight planing.

2. DEFINITION
A NOTAM is a NOTice to AirMen. They are issued to cover a number of items, such as:
changes to normal operating procedures at a facility
changes in conditions at an airport that are significant
alterations to published approaches (including revoking approach procedures)
known hazards that are not charted etc.
They are issued by teletype to any facility connected to the AFTN, (Aeronautical Fixed
Telecommunication Network) by Voice Advisory and via NAVACANADA website.

3. WHEN NOTAM ARE ISSUED


Below is a summary of why NOTAMs may be issued. This list is not comprehensive. For further
refrence please see AIM (Aeronautical Information Manual)
Reason for Issuance

Example(s)

The establishment or withdrawal of electronic New VOR added to charts, NDB removed, Fix
and other aids to air navigation and aerodromes name changed, added or removed, etc.
Changes in frequency, identification, orientation Single-letter NDBs serving as approach aids were
and location of electronic aids to navigation
recently renamed to provide clarity for FMS
systems, since many airports across the country
were served by the NDBs with the same singleletter name.
Interruptions in service or reliability, and the
return-to-normal operation of en route and
terminal aids to navigation

When NAVAIDs fail, are removed from service


for maintenance NOTAMs are issued both about
the failure, and when they are returned to normal
service.

The establishment or withdrawal, or significant Forest fire hazard areas, temporary procedures
changes to designated airspace or air traffic
and restrictions etc.
procedures and services
Significant changes in operations of runways
and serviceability of associated approach or
runway lighting systems that could prohibit or
limit aircraft activities

Airfield lighting failures can halt night-time


operation, or limit the ability for aircraft to see the
runway in IFR conditions.

2010 BDA www.freewebs.com/instruction

(C) BDA 2010

Also construction activities frequently require


personnel to work on or near the runways, so
instead of closing the runway, the airport authority
may close only a portion of it, making the shorter
length available.
The presence or removal of hazards that could
endanger air navigation or aircraft operations

Temporary obstructions such has crane. A new


approach minima for the runways concerned
could be published

Military exercises or maneuvers and airspace


reservations

The military often uses certain pieces of airspace


that are charted. On the charts, the designated
areas are often noted as "Mon-Fri, O/T by
NOTAM". If this is one of those other times, then
a NOTAM will be issued regarding the area.

The establishment or discontinuance, or change New restricted areas are published by NOTAM to
in the status of Advisory or Restricted Areas
get people's attention so they know about
activities which may be dangerous to flight.
Communication failures where no satisfactory
alternate frequency is available

Failure of an FSS's RCO (remote communications


outlet) or an ACC's PAL (Peripheral) frequency

Inaccuracies or omissions in publications that


might endanger aircraft operations

Chart data issued in error. NOTAMs are issued to


correct information on approach or en route
charts. The next cycle of publications will
normally include information contained in these
NOTAMs.

Failure of measuring / indicating systems needed Ceilometers (ceiling height), anemometers (wind
to supply current information on altimeter
speed), transimissometers (Runway Visual Range)
setting, surface wind, RVR and cloud height for and barometers (barometric pressure, i:e: altimeter
the pilot about to land or take-off
setting) are available at many fields. Each of these
items are subject to their own failures.
Any other information of direct operational
This is the standard catch-all, attempting to cover
significance as recommended in Annex 15 to the anything not specifically stated above.
Convention on International Civil Aviation

4 NOTAM SUMMARIES
NOTAM Summaries are distributed in one of four types in Canada. There is a GENERAL
summary, which contains information of general interest to all users, and an FIR Summary, which
contains an alphabetical listing of all valid NOTAMs with that FIR.
These summaries are generated at pre-determined times each day. FIR NOTAM summaries include
an alphabetical listing of all NOTAMs applicable to airports and facilities in the FIR.
Often there are items that are not associated with a particular aerodrome, but rather are more
pertinent to a larger area. These items may be published in the general section of the FIR NOTAM
2010 BDA www.freewebs.com/instruction

(C) BDA 2010

summary. If the item affects a specific aerodrome, it may also be mentioned in the section for the
aerodrome later in the summary. See AIM, MAP 5.5.1
Region

Time

GANDER FIR/OCA

0430Z DAILY

MONCTON FIR

0530Z DAILY

MONTREAL FIR

0630Z DAILY

TORONTO FIR

0735Z DAILY

WINNIPEG

0830Z DAILY

EDMONTON FIR NORTH OF 60N

0930Z DAILY

EDMONTON FIR SOUTH OF 60N

1030Z DAILY

VANCOUVER FIR

1130Z DAILY

SOMMAIRE FR1

0715Z DAILY

SUMMARY GEN

0915Z AS REQUIRED

SOMMAIRE GEN FR1

1415Z AS REQUIRED

The General summary is divided into two subsections depending on the originator of the NOTAM:
NOF (Nav Canada Head Office and International NOTAM Office)
OPS (Transport Canada Headquarters)

5 NOTAM FILES
NOTAM files are four-letter names used for dissemination, storage and retrieval. These files are
divided into three categories.
NATIONAL NOTAMs. for items of general interest to anyone in the air. The identifier for these
is CYHQ, for Headquarters in Ottawa.
FIR NOTAMs, which are more specific. These contain more focused items that are applicable to
a particular FIR, and include things like Class F airspace, military aircraft movements that are not
published in the CFS, airspace restrictions of a temporary nature, ATC or FIC frequency outages,
volcanic ash, GPS outage etc. ATC equipment outages may also be listed here, as are enroute
navigational facility outages. The codes for these files are the same as the FIR four-letter
identifiers for the ACCs in them. CZVR for Vancouver, CZEG for Edmonton, CZWG for
Winnipeg, CZYZ for Toronto, CZUL for Montreal, CZQM for Moncton and CZQX for Gander.
AERODROME NOTAMs. These use the four-letter designators for the aerodromes which they
relate to, and they are specific to the aerodrome and related facilities. Items affecting the airport
and aircraft operations would be listed, such as temporary runway changes (like displaced
thresholds), lighting unserviceabilities, restrictions on associated approaches due to equipment
2010 BDA www.freewebs.com/instruction

(C) BDA 2010

problems or temporary obstructions, known hazards of a temporary nature etc. For each airport
listed in the Canada Flight Supplement and the Water Aerodrome Supplement there is an
entry in the aerodrome FLT PLN section to note where the aerodrome NOTAMs will be found.

6 DISSEMINATION OF NOTAMs
NOTAMs are available tru the internet (NAVCANADA website) in printed form at Pilot
Information Kisok (PIK) and by teletype. Fixed Base Operators (FBO) will normally have some
level of access to such information. They can be obtained by phone or in the air by FSS or Flight
Information Centers (FIC). by checking in on any frequency designated for provision of Flight
information Service Enroute (FISE). For IFR flights workload permitting, ATC will be able to
provide such information as well. Community Aerodrome Radio Stations (CARS) can provide
pilots with limited NOTAM information, and this is typically limited to those items directly related
to the airport and its facilities.
Some NOTAMs are put out on a Voice Advisory only. A short notice, temporary failure of a
NAVAID, for example, might have a voice advisory issued, rather than sending in a NOTAM to
put on file. By the time it propagates through the system, such a failure might be over with. The
voice advisory is something that would be issued to pilots, normally over the radio, when the
information ATC/FSS has about the flight leads them to believe they may be affected. For
example, an aircraft flying an airway in which one leg is based on a facility that has temporarily
failed would be issued the voice advisory and may be rerouted, if required, at the same time.

7 DECODING NOTAM
Example1 : New Notam

GG CYZZNYOW
141736 CYNDYFYX
980007 NOTAMN CYOW OTTAWA/MACDONALDCARTIER INTL
CYOW ILS 07 U/S TIL APRX 9801191200
Line 1: GG CYZZNYOW - Teletype priority and group address.
Line 2: 141736 - Date and time of origination, the 14th day of the month, at 1736z
CYNDYFYX - Issuing location.
Line 3: 980007 - NOTAM Continuity Number.
NOTAMN - New NOTAM
CYOW - NOTAM File. The Ottawa/MacDonald Cartier International Airport has the entry
NOTAM FILE CYOW listed, meaning that all NOTAMs associated with this airport should be
found under the entry CYOW in the FIR Summary.

2010 BDA www.freewebs.com/instruction

(C) BDA 2010

OTTAWA/MACDONALD-CARTIER INTL - The published name of the aerodrome or facility.


Line 4: CYOW - Four character group to identify the aerodrome, the facility or the area of activity
or an obstruction.
ILS 07 - Type of facility, in this case Instrument Landing System Runway 07
U/S - Condition of the facility, U/S meaning "unserviceable".
TIL APRX - "Until approximately". Abbreviations are often used. Other common ones of a
similar nature include SSD (Scheduled Shut Down), and MAINT (Maintenance).
9801191200 - The ten-digit date time group. A standard format this includes the last two digits of
the year 98 the two-digit month 01 two-digit day 19 and four-digit time group 1200Z always
expressed in UTC (Z).
Example: 9801190200z would be January 19th, 1998, at 2:00 am in Greenwich,
Example 2: Replacing NOTAM
In the example above, a specific date time group was not published for the return to service of the
ILS 07. Since the term "TIL APRX" was used an update must be published This will take the form
of a Replacing NOTAM.

980008 NOTAMR 980007 CYOW


OTTAWA/MACDONALD-CARTIER INTL
CYOW ILS 07 U/S TIL APRX 9801191800
Line 1: 980008 - NOTAM Continuity Number.
NOTAMR - Replacing NOTAM.
980007 - NOTAM Number being replaced by this NOTAM.
CYOW OTTAWA/MACDONALD-CARTIER INTL - Published name of aerodrome.
Line 2: CYOW - Four-character location designator.
ILS 07 - Facility.
U/S - Facility status.
TIL APRX 98011918000 - As above, til approximately January 19th, 1998, at 1800z

2010 BDA www.freewebs.com/instruction

(C) BDA 2010

**Again, this NOTAM requires an update.


Example 3: Cancelling NOTAM
As the ILS07 is back in operation they have to cancel the previous NOTAMR, since the "TIL
APRX" is not specific enough for an automatic "timeout" of the condition.

980009 NOTAMC 980008 CYOW


OTTAWA/MACDONALD-CARTIER INTL
CYOW ILS 07 SVCBL
Line 1: 980009 - NOTAM Continuity Number.
NOTAMC - Cancelling NOTAM.
980008 - NOTAM Number being canceled by this NOTAM.
CYOW OTTAWA/MACDONALD-CARTIER INTL - Published name of aerodrome.
Line 2: CYOW - Four-character location designator.
ILS 07 - Facility.
SVCBL - Facility status, now "Serviceable"

Example 4: RSC/CRFI NOTAM


Now a new type fro Runway conditions

980010 NOTAMJ CYND OTTAWA/GATINEAU


CYND RSC 09/27 SNOW DRIFTS 3-4 INS 9801191150
CYND CRFI 09/27 -10 .30 9801191150
Line 1: 980010 - NOTAM Continuity Number.
NOTAMJ - Runway Surface Condition/Canadian Runway Friction Index (formerly known as JBI)
NOTAM

CYND OTTAWA/GATINEAU - Published name of aerodrome.


Line 2: CYND - Four-character location designator.
RSC - Runway Surface Condition
09/27 - Runway concerned in this section. Airports with more than one runway condition report
may be listed in the same NOTAM, but it will be on a separate line, printed the same way.

2010 BDA www.freewebs.com/instruction

(C) BDA 2010

SNOW DRIFTS 3-4 INS - Runway surface description


9801191150 - the ten-digit date/time group, as described above, for the time the runway report was
issued.
Line 3: CYND - Four-character location designator.
CRFI - Canadian Runway Friction Index
09/27 - Runway concerned in this section. Airports with more than one runway condition report
may be listed in the same NOTAM, but it will be on a separate line, printed the same way.
-10 .30 - CRFI values, starting with temperature, then CRFI runway average
9801191150 - the ten-digit date/time group, as described above, for the time the CRFI report was
issued.

2010 BDA www.freewebs.com/instruction