BACK TO THE NOTAM PAGE

Birth of a NOTAM

NOTAM start life as messages on the Aeronautical Fixed System (AFS). They are received centrally at the UK NOTAM office at London Heathrow from originators within the UK and from foreign NOTAM offices. AIS staff check and edit the NOTAM if necessary and they are then placed in the transmit queue for transmission to all UK NOTAM recipients. These include ATC offices, some airlines, briefing services etc.

There is no central world-wide NOTAM database, databases are built up individually by users from the incoming message stream.

ICAO NOTAM format

The format of NOTAM is defined in Annex 15 to the International Convention on Civil Aviation. An explanation of the format can be found here. Here is a typical NOTAM and its decode.

A1484/02 NOTAMN
Q) EGTT/QMRXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/5129N00028W005
A) EGLL
B) 0208231540
C) 0210310500 EST
E) RWY 09R/27L DUE WIP NO CENTRELINE, TDZ OR SALS LIGHTING AVBL

Notam Decoder

A1484/02 - one letter to indicate the Series, a 4-digit NOTAM number followed by a stroke and two digits to indicate the year.

NOTAMN - Suffix N Indicates this is a new NOTAM. Other options are R for NOTAM replacing another or C for one cancelling another.

Q) EGTT/QMRXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/5129N00028W005

This is the "Q" or qualifier line, it always starts Q) and contains the following fields, each separated by a stroke.

FIR (here EGTT, London FIR)

NOTAM Code, a 5 letter code starting with Q, defined in Annexe 15. Here QMR indicates that it concerns a Runway. XX indicates that remaining detail is in Plain Language. In this particular case the text shows that certain runway lighting is unavailable. Strictly speaking under ICAO rules this should have appeared as separate NOTAM for each type of lighting. QLCAS is the code for centreline lighting u/s QLZAS is the code for Touch Down Zone lighting u/s and  QLAAS is the code for Approach Lighting u/s (note in all cases AS indicates unserviceable). The use of QMRXX here is a sensible compromise that reduces the number of NOTAM from three to one. A full list of codes is included in ICAO document 8126 (Aeronautical Information Services Manual).

IV - Indicates that this is significant for IFR and VFR traffic

NBO - indicates for immediate attention of aircraft operators, for inclusion in PIB's and Operationally significant for IFR flights

A - Indicates scope, here Aerodrome, others are E (en-route) or W (nav warning)

000/999 - lower and upper limits expressed as a flight level. In this case it has been left as the default as it is not applicable.

5129N00028W005 - Indicates the geographical centre and radius of influence, always this number of digits. In this case the radius is 5 n.m.

A) EGLL - ICAO indicator of the aerodrome or FIR (London Heathrow) can include more than one FIR

B) 0208231540 - Date/time group (UTC) when this NOTAM becomes effective

C) 0210310500 EST - Date/time group (UTC) when the NOTAM ceases to be effective. Note "EST" means "estimated" (NOT Eastern Standard Time!). All NOTAM with EST remain in force until cancelled or replaced.

E) RWY 09R/27L DUE WIP NO CENTRELINE, TDZ OR SALS LIGHTING AVBL - text of the notam using ICAO abbreviations.

Decode of this is "Runway 09/27 due to work in progress no centreline, touchdown zone or simple approach lighting system available"

Here's the whole thing again

A1484/02 NOTAMN
Q) EGTT/QMRXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/5129N00028W005
A) EGLL
B) 0208231540
C) 0210310500 EST
E) RWY 09R/27L DUE WIP NO CENTRELINE, TDZ OR SALS LIGHTING AVBL

and here's the same thing as it appears in the PIB produced by ANAIS

AGA : FROM 02/08/23 15:40 TO 02/10/31 05:00 EST           A1484/02
      E)RWY 09R/27L DUE WIP NO CENTRELINE, TDZ OR SALS LIGHTING AVBL


You can see that the Q line is omitted entirely, A) has been stripped out because it appears as the header to the section and B) and C) have been reformatted and placed in the first line. AGA has been derived from the Q Code "QMR" (see Annex 15)


INTERNATIONAL NOTAM (Q) CODES

This appendix is to be used to interpret the contents of coded international NOTAM's.

a. A NOTAM code group contains five letters. The first letter is always the letter "Q'' to indicate a code abbreviation for use in the composition of NOTAM's.

b. The second and third letters identify the subject being reported. (See Second and Third Letter Decode Tables).

c. The fourth and fifth letters identify the status of operation of the subject being reported. (See Fourth and Fifth Letter Decode Tables).

THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

AGA Lighting Facilities (L)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

LA

Approach lighting system (specify runway and type)

apch lgt

LB

Aerodrome beacon

abn

LC

Runway center line lights (specify runway)

rwy centreline lgt

LD

Landing direction indicator lights

ldi lgt

LE

Runway edge lights (specify runway)

rwy edge lgt

LF

Sequenced flashing lights (specify runway)

sequenced flg lgt

LH

High intensity runway lights (specify runway)

high intst rwy lgt

LI

Runway end identifier lights (specify runway)

rwy end id lgt

LJ

Runway alignment indicator lights (specify runway)

rwy alignment indicator lgt

LK

Category II components of approach lighting system (specify runway)

category II components apch lgt

LL

Low intensity runway lights (specify runway)

low intst rwy lgt

LM

Medium intensity runway lights (specify runway)

medium intst rwy lgt

LP

Precision approach path indicator (PAPI) (specify runway)

papi

LR

All landing area lighting facilities

ldg area lgt fac

LS

Stopway lights (specify runway)

swy lgt

LT

Threshold lights (specify runway)

thr lgt

LV

Visual approach slope indicator system (specify type and runway)

vasis

LW

Heliport lighting

heliport lgt

LX

Taxiway centre line lights (specify taxiway)

twy centreline lgt

LY

Taxiway edge lights (specify taxiway)

twy edge lgt

LZ

Runway touchdown zone lights (specify runway)

rwy tdz lgt

 

THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

AGA Movement and Landing Area (M)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

MA

Movement area

mov area

MB

Bearing strength (specify part of landing area or movement area)

bearing strength

MC

Clearway (specify runway)

cwy

MD

Declared distances (specify runway)

declared dist

MG

Taxiing guidance system

tax guidance system

MH

Runway arresting gear (specify runway)

rwy arst gear

MK

Parking area

prkg area

MM

Daylight markings (specify threshold, centre line, etc.)

day markings

MN

Apron

apron

MP

Aircraft stands (specify)

acft stand

MR

Runway (specify runway)

rwy

MS

Stopway (specify runway)

swy

MT

Threshold (specify runway)

thr

MU

Runway turning bay (specify runway)

rwy turning bay

MW

Strip (specify runway)

strip

MX

Taxiway(s) (specify)

twy

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

AGA Facilities and Services (F)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

FA

Aerodrome

ad

FB

Braking action measurement equipment (specify type)

ba measurement eqpt

FC

Ceiling measurement equipment

ceiling measurement eqpt

FD

Docking system (specify AGNIS, BOLDS, etc.)

dckg system

FF

Fire fighting and rescue

fire and rescue

FG

Ground movement control

gnd mov ctl

FH

Helicopter alighting area/platform

hel alighting area

FL

Landing direction indicator

ldi

FM

Meteorological service (specify type)

met

FO

Fog dispersal system

fog dispersal

FP

Heliport

heliport

FS

Snow removal equipment

snow removal eqpt

FT

Transmissometer (specify runway and, where applicable, designator(s) of transmissometer(s))

transmissometer

FU

Fuel availability

fuel avbl

FW

Wind direction indicator

wdi

FZ

Customs

cust

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

COM Communications and Radar Facilities (C)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

CA

Air/ground (specify service and frequency)

a/g fac

CE

En route surveillance radar

rsr

CG

Ground controlled approach system (GCA)

gca

CL

Selective calling system (SELCAL)

selcal

CM

Surface movement radar

smr

CP

Precision approach radar (PAR) (specify runway)

par

CR

Surveillance radar element of precision approach radar system (specify wavelength)

sre

CS

Secondary surveillance radar (SSR)

ssr

CT

Terminal area surveillance radar (TAR)

tar

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

COM Instrument and Microwave Landing System (I)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

ID

DME associated with ILS

ils dme

IG

Glide path (ILS) (specify runway)

ils gp

II

Inner marker (ILS) (specify runway)

ils im

IL

Localizer (ILS) (specify runway)

ils liz

IM

Middle marker (ILS) (specify runway)

ils mm

IO

Outer marker (ILS) (specify runway)

ils om

IS

ILS Category I (specify runway)

ils I

IT

ILS Category II (specify runway)

ils II

IU

ILS Category III (specify runway)

ils III

IW

Microwave landing system (MLS) (specify runway)

mls

IX

Locator, outer (ILS) (specify runway)

ils lo

IY

Locator, middle (ILS) (specify runway)

ils lm

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

COM Terminal and En Route Navigation Facilities (N)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

NA

All radio navigation facilities (except...)

all rdo nav fac

NB

Nondirectional radio beacon

ndb

NC

DECCA

decca

ND

Distance measuring equipment (DME)

dme

NF

Fan marker

fan mkr

NL

Locator (specify identification)

l

NM

VOR/DME

vor/dme

NN

TACAN

tacan

NO

OMEGA

omega

NT

VORTAC

vortac

NV

VOR

vor

NX

Direction finding station (specify type and frequency)

df

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

RAC Airspace Organization (A)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

AA

Minimum altitude (specify en route/crossing/safe)

mnm alt

AC

Class B, C, D, or E Surface Area

ctr

AD

Air defense identification zone (ADIZ)

adiz

AE

Control area (CTA)

cta

AF

Flight information region (FIR)

fir

AH

Upper control area (UTA)

uta

AL

Minimum usable flight level

mnm usable fl

AN

Area navigation route

rnav route

AO

Oceanic control area (OCA)

oca

AP

Reporting point (specify name or Coded designator)

rep

AR

ATS route (specify)

ats route

AT

Class B Airspace

tma

AU

Upper flight information region (UIR)

uir

AV

Upper advisory area (UDA)

uda

AX

Intersection (INT)

int

AZ

Aerodrome traffic zone (ATZ)

atz

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

RAC Air Traffic and VOLMET Services (S)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

SA

Automatic terminal information service (ATIS)

atis

SB

ATS reporting office

aro

SC

Area control centre (ACC)

acc

SE

Flight information service (FIS)

fis

SF

Aerodrome flight information service (AFIS)

afis

SL

Flow control centre

flow ctl centre

SO

Oceanic area control centre (OAC)

oac

SP

Approach control service (APP)

app

SS

Flight service station (FSS)

fss

ST

Aerodrome control tower (TWR)

twr

SU

Upper area control centre (UAC)

uac

SV

VOLMET broadcast

volmet

SY

Upper advisory service (specify)

advisory ser

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

RAC Air Traffic Procedures (P)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

PA

Standard instrument arrival (STAR) (specify route designator)

star

PB

Standard VFR arrival std vfr arr

PC

Contingency procedures contingency proc

PD

Standard instrument departure (SID) (specify route designator)

sid

PE

Standard VFR departure

std vfr dep

PF

Flow control procedure

flow ctl proc

PH

Holding procedure

hldg proc

PI

Instrument approach procedure (specify type and runway)

inst apch proc

PL

Obstacle clearance limit (specify procedure)

ocl

PK

VFR approach procedure vfr apch proc

PM

Aerodrome operating minima (specify procedure and amended minimum)

opr minima

PN

Noise operating restrictions noise opr restrictions

PO

Obstacle clearance altitude

oca

PP

Obstacle clearance height

och

PR

Radio failure procedure

radio failure proc

PT

Transition altitude

transition alt

PU

Missed approach procedure (specify runway)

missed apch proc

PX

Minimum holding altitude (specify fix)

mnm hldg alt

PZ

ADIZ procedure

adiz proc

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

Navigation Warnings: Airspace Restrictions (R)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

RA

Airspace reservation (specify)

airspace reservation

RD

Danger area (specify national prefix and number)

..d..

RO

Overflying of ... (specify)

overflying

RP

Prohibited area (specify national prefix and number)

..p..

RR

Restricted area (specify national prefix and number)

..r..

RT

Temporary restricted area

tempo restricted

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

Navigation Warnings: Warnings (W)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

WA

Air display

air display

WB

Aerobatics

aerobatics

WC

Captive balloon or kite

captive balloon or kite

WD

Demolition of explosives

demolition of explosives

WE

Exercises (specify)

exer

WF

Air refueling

air refueling

WG

Glider flying

glider flying

WJ

Banner/target towing

banner/target towing

WL

Ascent of free balloon

ascent of free balloon

WM

Missile, gun or rocket firing

frng

WP

Parachute jumping exercise (PJE)

pje

WS

Burning or blowing gas

burning or blowing gas

WT

Mass movement of aircraft

mass mov of acft

WV

Formation flight

formation flt

WZ

model flying

model flying

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

SECOND AND THIRD LETTERS

Other Information (O)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

OA

Aeronautical information service

ais

OB

Obstacle (specify details)

obst

OE

Aircraft entry requirements

acft entry rqmnts

OL

Obstacle lights on ... (specify)

obst lgt

OR

Rescue coordination centre

rcc

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

FOURTH AND FIFTH LETTERS

Availability (A)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

AC

Withdrawn for maintenance

withdrawn maint

AD

Available for daylight operation

avbl day ops

AF

Flight checked and found reliable

fltck okay

AG

Operating but ground checked only, awaiting flight check

opr awaiting fltck

AH

Hours of service are now

hr ser

AK

Resumed normal operations

okay

AM

Military operations only

mil ops only

AN

Available for night operation

avbl night ops

AO

Operational

opr

AP

Available, prior permission required

avbl ppr

AR

Available on request

avbl o/r

AS

Unserviceable

u/s

AU

Not available (specify reason if appropriate)

not avbl

AW

Completely withdrawn

withdrawn

AX

Previously promulgated shutdown has been cancelled

promulgated shutdown cnl

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

FOURTH AND FIFTH LETTERS

Changes (C)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

CA

Activated

act

CC

Completed

cmpl

CD

Deactivated

deactivated

CE

Erected

erected

CF

Operating frequency(ies) changed to

freq change

CG

Downgraded to

downgraded to

CH

Changed

changed

CI

Identification or radio call sign changed to

ident change

CL

Realigned

realigned

CM

Displaced

displaced

CO

Operating

opr

CP

Operating on reduced power

opr reduced pwr

CR

Temporarily replaced by

tempo rplcd by

CS

Installed

installed

CT

On test, do not use

on test, do not use

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

FOURTH AND FIFTH LETTERS

Hazard Conditions (H)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

HA

Braking action is ...

ba is

1)Poor

2)Medium/Poor

3)Medium

4)Medium/Good

5)Good

 

 

HB

Braking coefficient is ... (specify measurement device used)

brkg coefficient is

HC

Covered by compacted snow to depth of

cov compacted snow depth

HD

Covered by dry snow to a depth of

cov dry snow depth

HE

Covered by water to a depth of

cov water depth

HF

Totally free of snow and ice

free of snow and ice

HG

Grass cutting in progress

grass cutting

HH

Hazard due to (specify)

hazard due

HI

Covered by ice

cov ice

HJ

Launch planned ... (specify balloon flight identification or project Code name, launch site, planned period of launch(es)_date/time, expected climb direction, estimate time to pass 18,000 m (60,000 ft), together with estimated location)

launch plan

HK

Migration in progress

migration inpr

HL

Snow clearance completed

snow clr cmpl

HM

Marked by

marked by

HN

Covered by wet snow or slush to a depth of

cov wet snow depth

HO

Obscured by snow

obscured by snow

HP

Snow clearance in progress

snow clr inpr

HQ

Operation cancelled ... (specify balloon flight identification or project Code name)

opr cnl

HR

Standing water

standing water

HS

Sanding in progress

sanding

HT

Approach according to signal area only

apch according signal area only

HU

Launch in progress ... (specify balloon flight identification or project Code name, launch site, date/time of launch(es), estimated time passing 18,000 m (60,000 ft), or reaching cruising level if at or below 18,000 m (60,000 ft), together with estimated location, estimated date/time of termination of the flight, and planned location of ground contact when applicable)

launch inpr

HV

Work completed

work cmpl

HW

Work in progress

wip

HX

Concentration of birds

bird concentration

HY

Snow banks exist (specify height)

snow banks hgt

HZ

Covered by frozen ruts and ridges

cov frozen ruts and ridges

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

FOURTH AND FIFTH LETTERS

Limitations (L)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

LA

Operating on auxiliary power supply

opr aux pwr

LB

Reserved for aircraft based therein

reserved for acft based therein

LC

Closed

clsd

LD

Unsafe

unsafe

LE

Operating without auxiliary power supply

opr without aux pwr

LF

Interference from

interference from

LG

Operating without identification

opr without ident

LH

Unserviceable for aircraft heavier than

u/s acft heavier than

LI

Closed to IFR operations

clsd ifr ops

LK

Operating as a fixed light

opr as f lgt

LL

Usable for length of...and width of...

usable length/width

LN

Closed to all night operations

clsd night ops

LP

Prohibited to

prohibited to

LR

Aircraft restricted to runways and taxiways

acft restricted to rwy and twy

LS

Subject to interruption

subj intrp

LT

Limited to

limited to

LV

Closed to VFR operations

clsd vfr ops

LW

Will take place

will take place

LX

Operating but caution advised due to

opr but caution due

 
THE NOTAM CODE

DECODE

FOURTH AND FIFTH LETTERS

Other (XX)

Code

Signification

Uniform Abbreviated Phraseology

XX

Where 4th and 5th letter Code does not cover the situation, use XX and supplement by plain language

(plain language following the
NOTAM Code)

 

This site was last updated 02/27/12