by Mark Zee.

Wow everyone, thanks.

The petition I started last week has been signed by 4,036 people as of 4.30pm EST on Wednesday 13th Nov. Did you sign? Please do: the petition at change.org is called “Help Pilots get Critical Flight Information – Fix the ‘NOTAM’ system“, and I’m asking you to sign it.

I’d like to see 10,000. The petition will be used to help get the “Improvement to Notams” Act through the Senate (read on), and to encourage ICAO, the FAA, Eurocontrol, the Notam Team, and everyone else involved in the efforts to do their thing.

Updates

So, first up, the “Improvement to Notams Act 2019”. It’s a bill right now, number HR1775, and it stems from the NTSB report into Air Canada 759 (with the now legendary ‘Notams are garbage’ comment from the NTSB). If passed, it will require the FAA to establish a Notam Task Force. Right on Halloween, it passed the House of Representatives, and is now settling in to the Senate for the final hurdle. Keep an eye on that progress here.

November 18th sees the Notam Summit hosted at the FAA in Washington. If you’re going, I’ll see you there!

The Notam Team. In July I wrote an article called “Why Pilots are reading a reel of telegrams in the cockpit”, and decided that we needed to create a team of Pilots and Dispatchers to work on the Notam Problem. 240 or so of you took up the call, and we’ve been up and running since August. Our modus operandi is different to the standard committee – and also the first time that we’ve had a group looking at Notams led by the users – Pilots and Dispatchers. I think this is key to solving the issue. So, after a lot of initial discussion, we decided that we would have a singular focus: design a brand new system, one that works for us (and the passengers) – not the lawyers, not the state. We just launched our website: fixingnotams.org, so follow our progress there – and there is always room for more, if you would like to join the team!

#NOTEMBER. Our initiative in OpsGroup to keep the energy flowing – every day for the month of November we’ll post a fresh idea from the Notam Survey 2019, which we’ve just wrapped up. The highlights from this survey of 2,100 Pilots and Dispatchers are this: The average ‘approval rating’ for the Notam System is 3.2 out of 10: 72% said that they often had an issue understanding a Notam, 74% said that they regularly missed critical information, and 76% see a dire need for improvement.

Thanks OPSGROUP! I’m grateful to have the support of the group, and our readers here, to work on important problems like this in aviation.

With this support, we’ve already achieved a lot – OPSGROUP has grown to almost 6,000 members, and the level of information sharing has meant that we are now curators of the inbound information flow as opposed to what we used to be: researchers. Thanks to members, Foxes (don’t blow your cover!), and bulletin readers we are changing how aviation information flows. The post-MH17 syllabus is complete – the industry now gets it: sharing is the new black, and the SafeAirspace.net work means that when there’s a new risk, OPSGROUP is going to tell you about it.

And now, let’s do the same for Notams. Before the birds get us.

Write to me at mark.z@ops.group

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