While developing NOTAM Ace, I've run across a lot of different Notices to Airmen. Understanding NOTAMs is important for conducting a safe and legal flight, however a lot of pilots have only a vague understanding of what they're actually reading. Most pilots (and I'm including myself) just do a brief skim, looking for only a few things like "Temporary Flight Restriction" or "LGTS OTS", and missing other NOTAMs that could have a critical impact on the safety of their flight. I built NOTAM Ace to help make understanding NOTAMs easier, but software can only do so much.
That's why I'm starting a segment called "What in the NOTAM?" Weekly I'll research something that is often found in NOTAMs and try to cover what it is, how its written up, and why a pilot should pay attention to it.
This week, I'm going to start off with two NOTAM contractions important to every IFR pilot (especially if they operate in and out of busy Class C or B airspaces), USD and UAR.
USD depicts changes to the published Departure Procedures (DP) for the airport, here's an example:
!USD 07/020 (KPHX A0290/05) PHX ST. JOHNS THREE DEPARTURE...DEP CTL 119.2/281.45
This example shows a change in the departure clearance frequencies for the ST. JOHNS THREE departure at PHX. If you were used to the old frequency, checking this NOTAM could prevent a couple of seconds confusion when the tower gives you 119.2.
UAR is the NOTAM code for changes to the published Standard Terminal Procedures (STAR) for the airport. Here's what one of these may look like:
!UAR 06/042 (KJFK A1485/06) JFK LENDY FIVE ARRIVAL LENDY INT THEN VIA LGA R-315 TO LGA VOR/DME MEA 3000. RADAR REQUIRED. WEF 0606281600
This UAR shows that for the LENDY FIVE arrival at JFK, there are some changes to the published route of the arrival. Knowing this in advance is essential if ATC happens to assign you this arrival.
Remember ATC can assign you a DP or STAR if available while you're on an IFR flight plan. Knowing in advance any changes to the published DPs or STARs is essential if you are planning an IFR flight.
That's it for this week in What in the NOTAM, if I've made any errors or omissions please feel free to leave a comment, I'll correct it ASAP.
Till next time, clear skies!