Poll: Do You Bother With NOTAMS?


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  1. About 80% of my flights are IFR–but I use Foreflight–which automatically brings up NOTAMS. I skip over the mundane (“a single runway light OTS”) to look at what DOES count. It’s an indication of the ineffectiveness of the government system that so many pilots use PAID systems (like Foreflight) rather than use a “free” system like the government.

  2. I only look for closed runways, closed airports, and instrument approaches that might be Notam’d out or have higher minimums at my destination. Foreflight does a somewhat reasonable job organizing things but I still have to skim over a lot of crap.

    • So do I. My company is good at checking for notams affecting any trip that is assigned. When I fly VFR, the next biggest thing I check for are any TFR’s that could be an issue.

  3. Maybe our ForeFlight type packages could get a user-conformable “spam filter” that puts the 193 ft. tower 3.7 NM away type NOTAMS in the deleted file.

  4. I’m as critical of the current NOTAM system as anyone, but I find it quite disturbing that a large number of responders chose “never” or “rarely” as an answer. Yes it’s a messed up system, but for some items of critical importance to safe flying, it’s where you need to look.

  5. Whoever decided to ground the airlines – was it Pete Boot-a-judge? – made a grossly incompetent and unnecessary decision. As a retired pilot/FAA tower controller, the only possible restriction on airlines flying when NOTAMs are unavailable would be to operate only at airports with control towers. The ATC system is aware of any outages or malfunctioning systems or cautions that affect safety of flight and is required to inform pilots of any hazardous outages or situations enroute or on airports.

    • I always thought that was the case. I have found that if ATC is aware of any notam that would effect an IFR clearance, ATC won’t clear you for your requested route(vicinity of Cape Canaveral for a rocket launch) or for an approach to a closed runway or airport. Any NAV aid outages can easily be worked around by requesting a heading direct when in radar coverage.

  6. It’s a fact that NOTAMs are difficult to read and process, and that the lack of prioritization makes the process extremely tedious. However, some of them are killer notices and it beggars the imagination that a certain percentage of respondents say they don’t check NOTAMs at all. Boo to the NTSB guy for his statement, which validates that attitude.

  7. First time you land at a small airport in the middle of nowhere that NOTAM’d they were out of fuel – you are sure going to pay attention to them ongoing. Believe Me…..

  8. I once had 84 A4 pages of NOTAMS for a flight from LHR to LAX. NOTAMS are important but heck we need a system that produces only NOTAMS that are valid during the expected time of flight and a few hours either side. I use a commercially available app that does that. Why doesn’t ICAO implement something of that nature?