Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)
Time-critical aeronautical information, which is of either a temporary nature or not sufficiently known in advance to permit publication on aeronautical charts or in other operational publications, receives immediate dissemination via the National Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) System. NOTAMs contain current notices to airmen, which are considered essential to the safety of flight, as well as supplemental data affecting other operational publications. NOTAM information is classified into two categories: NOTAM (D) or distant and Flight Data Center (FDC) NOTAMs.
NOTAM (D) information is disseminated for all navigational facilities that are part of the NAS, all public use airports, seaplane bases, and heliports listed in the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD). NOTAM (D) information now includes such data as taxiway closures, personnel and equipment near or crossing runways, and airport lighting aids that do not affect instrument approach criteria, such as visual approach slope indicator (VASI).
FDC NOTAMs contain such things as amendments to published Instrument Approach Procedures (IAPs) and other current aeronautical charts. They are also used to advertise temporary flight restrictions caused by such things as natural disasters or large-scale public events that may generate a congestion of air traffic over a site.
Safety Program Airmen Notification System (SPANS)
The FAA recently launched the Safety Program Airmen Notification System (SPANS), an online event notification system that provides timely and easy-to-assess seminar and event information notification for airmen. The SPANS system is taking the place of the current paper based mail system. This transition will provide better service to airmen while reducing costs for the FAA. Anyone can search the SPANS system and register for events. To read more about SPANS, visit www.faasafety.gov/SPANS/default.aspx.