On January 25, 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass the NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023, which would require that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) establish a task force to study how to improve the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system after it failed in January 2023, resulting in a nationwide ground stop and significant disruption to air travel.
The bill instructs the task force to review existing regulations relating to NOTAMs and current methods used to deliver NOTAMs and flight operations information to pilots. It also instructs the task force to evaluate and determine best practices to organize, prioritize, and present flight operations information. Finally, the bill directs the task force to provide recommendations regarding how to:
improve the presentation of NOTAM information;
ensure that NOTAMs are complete, accurate, and contain proper information;
identify best practices to improve the accuracy of NOTAMs;
partner with industry to implement solutions; and
ensure the NOTAM system is stable and secure.
The task force would consist of members appointed by the FAA Administrator. It must include at least one representative from an air carrier, a labor union, and a general/business aviation entity, as well as experts in the areas of aviation safety (with knowledge of NOTAMs), human factors, and computer system architecture/cybersecurity.
The bill instructs the FAA to establish the task force no later than 180 days after enactment and requires that the task force submit a report to Congress within one year of its establishment. Although the U.S. House of Representatives has passed similar bills in the past, this bill may have a higher likelihood of becoming law because a companion bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate for the first time.