Local Notams....


Learn something new everyday.

Usually, I do my weather briefings online and call FSS to file my flight plans.

Today, knowing it was severe clear for the entire day, I asked for an abbreviated briefing and always ask if there are any airpsace issues (TFRs) to be aware of. Yeah, I know when I am IFR, the airspace issues are to be dealt with in my routing and working with ATC, but I still like to be aware of these things.

Briefer asked me if I got my local notams. Past briefings, I always got full briefings, since clouds woudl be a potential flight issue and my return time usually spans several hours, so local notams were always included in my FSS briefings. I just took these for granted and halfway listened through the unlit tower portion of the briefing.

When the briefer asked if I got the local notams, and I said no, which he gave me the local notam that included the fact that the ILS glide slope was out of service at KGNF. he said, had I filed via DUATS and also requested a standard briefing through DUATS and something happened where I went to do an ILS approach and something happened, that I would have been found negligent in not using all my resources in my briefing (FSS).

Amazingly enough, this guy was right as when I came back home, I re-requested my briefing and sure enough, NOTHING about the unusable glide slope at KGNF

He did have a point, as I try to be an automated person, but when it comes to my preflight, I always go the extra step to call FSS just to validate my go / no go decision.

I never thought would have thought DUATS would not be inclusive enough to include a critical element about an unusable glideslope as had I decided to go, and ceilings were 300 feet AGL, I wouldn’t have made it to the airport!

In fact, I had got a standard briefing with DUATS and an abbreviated briefing with FSS, local NOTAMS normally are not covered unless you specifically ask for them.

Soooo… lesson learned, for those that file online, “buyer beware” all is not disclosed on Standard briefings with DUATS.

I will now always ask for the standard full briefing as abbreviated apparently is not enough.

Guess the real question of the day is what benefit of filing flight plans online and getting your standard briefing online is there when you don’t get critical local notam?



It’s also possible that Local NOTAMS are not in the national system. So if you’re flying to an airport serviced by another FSS you may not get these NOTAMS as part of your briefing. Usally it’s not a big deal, but as you said fly a broken ILS and the pilots to blame. You need to contact the FSS at your destination airport to be sure you have all the Local NOTAMS.

"]Local Notams have always been an enigma in aviation. This type of Notam consists of information concerning taxiway closures and runway lighting, or airport beacon outages. Normally, the closest FSS has the local Notams if the airport manager passes them to the FSS. Notams are of short duration and are normally discontinued when moved to a more permanent publication. Unfortunately, these Notams (LOCAL) are not distributed beyond the local FSS. It was attempted once before with the US Notam system computer, but apparently the amount of local Notam data created a backlog in the system, which also affected weather transmission.
FAA publications recommend contacting the nearest FSS to your destination for local Notams. These numbers are located in the airport facility directory


Which adds another question… Just how does one contact the local FSS when they are being closed left and right? I think I read somewhere in the AOPA stuff, that Lockheed is creating a mega center to route FSS calls to?

You used to be able to look in the AFD, but now, the FSS appears to be regionally broken down rather then by state?

When I dialed the national 800 number, I was always routed to Greenwood MS. Now, I am routed to Jonesboro AR. And when I filed my IFR trip on my return, I was routed to Jackson TN!

You practically can throw a rock from Grenada to Greenwood, and I used the Grenada airport telephone, not my cell phone, why Jackson TN was beyond me.



When one station is busy they route the calls to the next fss station.

When in doubt, use the direct lines. They’re listed in the AFD, and HERE.


I knew this, however a lot of these are shutting down and calling it the day thus my reference to the mega centers in my original post.

See avweb.com/news/avmail/avmail … 876-1.html for starters (The new AFSS), Trying to search for the full list of closures.

P.S. Found it. afss.com/news/?sp=20070201. Which still raises a new question if local notams will be diseminated via these mega regional sites.


You must be really specific when talking about NOTAMS.

If the ILS or any component of the ILS at GNF is out of service, that is not a “LOCAL” Notam. Its a NOTAM D, which is set up for system wide dissemination. Every briefer on the system should see it, no matter where they are.

Somebody misspoke here, is what I think. There is no way that a component of the ILS being out of service should be considered a Local Notam.

Quoted from the Advisory Circular: AC No.: 150/5200-28C

Distant NOTAMs. NOTAM (D) information is distributed for all public use airports, seaplane bases, and
heliports listed in the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) and all navigational facilities that are part of the NAS.
NOTAM (D) is distributed automatically in addition to local dissemination. Air traffic facilities, primarily FSSs,
have access to the entire database of NOTAMs. These NOTAMs remain available for the duration of their validity
or until published.The complete file of all NOTAM (D) information is maintained in a computer database at the Weather Message
Switching Center (WMSC) located in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Master US NOTAM System (USNS) databaselocated in Herndon, Virginia.

“Local Notams”

Local NOTAMs. NOTAM (L) information 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). NOTAM (L) information is distributed locally by the FSS only to the area affected by the aid, service, or hazard being advertised.


If such the case, something miserably failed. I got a full DUATS briefing, and the OTS glideslope for GNF does not show up.

I am (maybe be misunderstood) under the understandnig that NOTAMS-D are included in DUATS briefings. GNF OTS glideslope did not show up.

Again from what I understand, LOCAL notams do not show up in a standard DUATS briefing.

If D-NOTAMS don’t show up, then what’s the use of filing online when you still have to call FSS for NOTAMS? Might as well as do the whole shebang while with the briefer?



All Flight Service Stations are now connected to a national database so no matter which location you call, they should have the information for your destination, including notams.


Even LOCAL Notams? Do you have a source for this, as I have not been able to find anything about this.

The more I query, the more descrepant information I get since the FSS transition to Lockheed.

I queried some instructors, and they didn’t know about my glide slope problem and getting information about it short of calling the local FSS, which is now outdated since the link I provided above shows local FSS are going to be the thing of the past.

The instructors didn’t have an answer with the new FSS configuration.



Not exactly, I am the source. I toured the new FS21 hub in Ashburn, VA. I spoke with the IT program manager, and I don’t remember specifically if he said Local Notams, but he did say if the information is in a database somewhere, then they can access it anywhere.

The article you found states that all Flight Service Specialists will use one database.

It also says:

…resident in the FS21 system are all local NOTAMs and all flight plans nationwide, as well as a huge repository for aeronautical charts, publications, airport information, Air Traffic Control Communication data, etc.


I just spoke to Flight Service. They said that under the old system, they had no good access to local notams. Under the new system, as was said, everything will be resident in a single database that all flight service personnel can access. They also said that ~half the flight service stations are already operating under the new system and the other half are expected to roll out over the next few weeks.

Since they are not used to looking for distant local notams, the briefer suggested that a pilot specifically ask if there are any local notams for the destination and alternate airports.