The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has approved legislation that would establish a task force to tackle making improvements to the notices to air missions (NOTAMs) system. The bill, called the NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023 (S.66), was introduced in January 2023 in the wake of a NOTAM system outage that caused a nationwide ground stop earlier that month. S.66 was co-sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
“The complete failure of the FAA’s NOTAM system stranded millions of Americans and was a warning of the need to strengthen and modernize our air travel system,” said Sen. Moran. “The FAA has a responsibility to make certain air travel in our country is as safe and efficient as possible. Moving this legislation forward is an important step to help meet the demands of 21st-century travel and prevent a similar failure in the future.”
If the bill is passed as approved, the FAA Task Force on NOTAM Improvement would be responsible for providing recommendations in areas including improving NOTAM presentation, ways to ensure that NOTAMs are complete, accurate and contain the proper information, best practices to improve the accuracy and understandability of NOTAMs and ensuring the stability, resiliency, and cybersecurity of the NOTAM computer system. It would be made up of representatives from air carriers, airports, airline pilot, dispatcher and FAA personnel unions, GA and business aviation stakeholders, aviation safety and human factors experts and computer system architecture and cybersecurity experts. As previously reported by AVweb, companion legislation was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in January with a vote of 424 to 4.