NOTAMs Now ‘Notices To Air Missions’


A NOTAM is still a NOTAM but the words represented by the acronym now represent the FAA’s foray into modernizing and gender-neutralizing aviation terms. As of Thursday, NOTAM means Notice to Air Missions, which the agency says is “more applicable” to the role of the notices and is “inclusive of all aviators and missions.” The agency has purged all of the relevant guidance and regulatory documents of the former long-form term Notice to Airmen. Although the acronym part is getting the most attention, the revisions also contain changes that bring FAA terminology in line with that of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The term “good” as a criterion for braking action has been removed and the agency has added more detail to describe the operation of runway alignment lights to replace the single term “unserviceable” because it “did not accurately describe the reduced condition of the ALS.” There are some housekeeping changes (Las Vegas’s airport is now Harry Reid instead of McCarran) and ASOS and AWOS automated weather stations are now treated the same in NOTAMs.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Don’t care what they’re called… the important question is, have they fixed the actual content? Or is it still all the same 90% irrelevant crap in abbreviated all caps?

    • This is literally illiterate. The term is already inclusive as “men” is the generic term (see also mankind). People no longer are taught the English language?

  2. If they need to take 4 years to undo the flight instruction fiasco unleashed this summer, one wonders how long it took for them to come up with THIS piece of work!

    Rather than fix the actual problem with NOTAMS–they came up with a small change in the NAME. I guess that to government types, they believe this indicates progress.

    One wonders what the cost in time and printing is for this “Great Leap Forward.” And they wonder why their constituents don’t take them seriously?

    • When you’re working from home in your BVD’s, they gotta do SOMETHING to make it look like they’re working, Jim.

      IMHO, they oughta categorize the NOTAMS into — say — four categories:
      NEW (in the last 30 days)
      TRANSITORY (applicable for a time specific listed and not critical)
      ONGOING (info that is a warning or long term item that no one really cares about)(Bob G-M’s ‘irrelevant’ stuff;)

      It oughta be that you could peruse the NOTANS quickly and get what you need FAST such that it becomes something all pilots do for all flights.

      • So the FAA has some working remotely? “When you’re working from home in your BVD’s, they gotta do SOMETHING to make it look like they’re working….” I got a chuckle from that as I sit in my Hanes boxer briefs after working up a sweat this evening struggling with two electric leaf vacuum mulchers refusing to mulch two or three slightly moist leaves, I swept up the other three leaves into a large paper bag for the city to pickup for recycling.

        Being amongst the most dangerous pilots with less than 500 hrs pic time (FAA statistics) I haven’t been able to accrue another 350 hours to get past the dangerous phase. This makes me aware of changes that still overwhelm me whether adapting to gender neutral terminology or scaring the next instructor as I attempt flying under the hood. NOTAMS seem to be the least worry for me in my small area (NYC) of congested airspace. Personally, I think I’d be more concerned about all the illegal drones being flown from operators refusing to comply with FAA/modeling regs.

        • Next door to my summer location in Wisconsin, the home next door was purchased by a guy who is a DOT Highway Safety Inspector. His job is to be out on the highways inspecting truckers to ensure things are right and to investigate accidents. He has a Government car because of that. For the near six months I was up there, the car ONLY moved around on the driveway. The guy is in his house ‘somehow’ doing a job remotely that is supposed to be in person.

          The FAA is a part of DOT … draw your own conclusions. Just TRY to find someone in a FSDO. Last week, I took an in person FAAST team safety brief at Daytona Beach and asked if any FAA types were around. Everyone laughed and said, “No!”

          WE are paying for this crap !!

          • Forgot … it took someone in FAA (working from home, no doubt?) five days to credit my presence at the FAAST meeting. Yet I took one from the EAA and it was credited the very next day. (SIC!).

  3. I think next they’ll decide that it’s not fair to use five letters for four words. It’s unfair that NOTICE gets to have two letters represented. If the letters are to abbreviate Notice To Air Missions, then obviously it has to be changed to NTAM, which would then be pronounced “entam” which is still unfair because you end up mostly saying the first letter, while the rest of them still serve standard-duty as part of a word.

  4. Pretty sure that the FAA is now more “progressive” than ICAO. So glad to see my yet to be born grandkids tax dollars are being well spent.

  5. Great to read about how my tax dollars are being flushed down the federal toilet. What aspect of flight safety or other improvement will be the result of this woke action? NONE!

  6. OH this makes me feel so much better knowing the FAA is wasting its time on such nonsense and not coming up with more ways to make my life miserable.

  7. So where does this travesty end? Do we now do flight Misseuvers (instead of maneuvers), is the manifold now Girlifold, Is ADM Aeronautical Decision Girlagment? Why stop there the list is endless. And what about those Binary identifying eunuchs? Don’t they need to be placated? The FAA….bless their hearts..

    • You beat me to it. In addition to MANifold Pressure, I was going to suggest that MANeuvering Speed (Va) will have to be changed to “Person-euvering Speed.”

      I’m listening to local talk radio right now, telling about how gender-crap like this is being pushed on “our” kids in “our” schools. (We’re a Socialist Country – they’re not our kids, nor our schools.)

      Pretty soon the FAA will revoke my ATP Certificate for no longer being “of good moral character” because I say this stuff is stupid – and evil.

      (I wonder how long before AvWeb revokes us?)

    • And MISSion? Absolutely unacceptable. Blatant reintroduction of the discredited concept of sex…and by a government agency, no less.

  8. We’re still trying to pin down (exile back to CCCP) all those (demonrats) idiots who helped put those America hating, Sick Monsters in power! Fix that, and we get our country back!

  9. We used to joke about the people in the Air Force who put new names on old things and called them “improved”. This goes a major leap beyond any of that.

    Ok, let’s assume we actually thought it was necessary to change the “airman” part. The most logical change to comply with woke culture would be Notice To Aviators. Unfortunately that would change the current acronym to NOTA (NOTAV?) and would incur cost to change every reference to NOTAMs in all aviation publications.

    What they did was solve a nonexistent problem in a way that makes the powers that be able to claim progress toward a social agenda without incurring any major costs beyond changing the definition of NOTAM. Follow the money folks. Somebody at the FAA got huge kudos for this.

    An Airman or Aviator is a person who can be notified and held accountable for looking for the information. An Air Mission? A sea lawyer will tell you that introduces ambiguity as to who has the responsibility and accountability. Now, we know we as pilots in command have that responsibility, but why muddy the waters with a move to ambiguity? It makes no practical sense.

    Fix the real problem – the archaic NOTAM system – this name change is just a distraction.

  10. Liberal stupidity continues to strike. What’s next? “People Certificates”?

    Or, will “certificate” sound too superior for some? So, they’ll call them “Participation Documents.”

  11. Maybe next they can redefine “TAF” to not refer to “Aerodrome”! (That is, unless we’ve all been taking off and landing at “aerodromes” instead of “airports” all along, and didn’t know it?)