L NOTAMs Extinct

Those of you who have done your PPL within the past year have no idea what I’m talking about. The “L” or local NOTAM was one of 3 types of NOTAMs, and it covered operations on the airport surface. The classic was personnel and equipment working, but sometimes included special events, local hazards, inoperative equipment. The line between a D NOTAM and an L NOTAM was unclear. That’s been corrected, and the NOTAM system considerably simplified. L NOTAMs are gone, and that information is now covered by D NOTAMs. FDC NOTAMs stay the same.

There’s also a new type of NOTAM: the Pointer NOTAM. See, there also used to be this uncomfortable thing about NOTAMs where some were published. When you called flight services, you’d get all the L and D NOTAMs, but it was possible that there were published NOTAMs that FSS wouldn’t give you. Pointer NOTAMs take care of that: if a D NOTAM has been around long enough, there will be a Pointer NOTAM that will tell you where to look for it.

When I did my PPL, the L-D-FDC system was still in effect, and for some reason, I didn’t get the memo when it changed during my commercial training. I figured it out this past week when I was doing some FAAST/WINGS courses in preparation for an upcoming flight review. I highly recommend the Know your NOTAMs course…doesn’t take long, and really makes sense of the whole NOTAM system in a way that just didn’t seem possible with the L-D-FDC set-up. There’s a link to the FAAST site in the new NOTAMs lesson plan (which is a watered down version of what you’ll find on the FAAST site).