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4 Times Missing NOTAMs Could Result In An FAA Enforcement Action

Reading NOTAMs is the least favorite part of flight planning for most pilots. If you don't review them often, the NOTAM language seems cryptic and jumbled. But critically important information is often contained in NOTAMs, and pilots have received enforcement actions for not being familiar with them. Here are 4 NOTAMs you don't want to miss...

1) Runway Closures

Runways can be closed for periods of time for inspection, maintenance, re-painting, or construction. Each year, pilots around the country mistakenly land on closed runways, which can lead to major safety issues for ground personnel and your aircraft. Here's what a runway closure NOTAM looks like:

!FSD 04/115 FSD RWY 03/21 CLSD DLY 1200-2300 2004201200-2004252300

Dover AFB

2) Missed Approach Changes

Let's say the missed approach takes you to a VOR for holding. If that VOR is out of service, the procedure has to change. This is one example of why NOTAMs are issued for missed approach changes. Here's what it looks like:

!FDC 8/5540 BID IAP BLOCK ISLAND STATE, Block Island, RI. VOR RWY 28, AMDT 5... CMDA 640/HAA 532 ALL CATS. PROCEDURE TURN MINIMUM ALTITUDE 1700. MISSED APPROACH: CLIMBING RIGHT TURN TO 1700 IN SEY VOR/DME HOLDING PATTERN. DISREGARD NOTE: VISIBILITY REDUCTION BY HELICOPTERS NA. MSA FROM SEY VOR/DME 060 - 240 1700. 1812281933-2012281933EST

3) Instrument Approach Equipment Unusable

If you're planning an instrument approach into an airport, reviewing NOTAMs is critical. Equipment outages and approach changes are published. If the weather is low, and you're planning on the ILS, you need to know if the glidepath (glideslope) is "unusable." Check out what this NOTAM might look like:

!ORD 04/301 ORD NAV ILS RWY 22L GP UNUSABLE 2004101453-2005081500

4) Temporary Flight Restrictions

TFRs can pop up anywhere. They may exist for a sporting event, Presidential movement, sports game, airshow, or any number of things. TFRs are published as FDC NOTAMs. Here's what a TFR for fighting a wildfire looks like:

What would you like changed about the NOTAM system in the USA? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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