Legislation comes after recent Notice to Air Missions system failure grounded flights nationwide

The NOTAM Improvement Act is led in the House by Representative Pete Stauber

WASHINGTON - Following a recent U.S. Notices to Air Missions (NOTAM) system outage that grounded flights nationwide, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced bipartisan legislation to help prevent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) system outages. The NOTAM Improvement Act would require the FAA to establish a task force to strengthen the resiliency and cybersecurity of the NOTAM system, which alerts pilots of safety and location hazards on flight routes. Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives earlier this month. 

“Travelers in the United States deserve safe and dependable air travel service, not nationwide ground stops caused by system failures. By upgrading and modernizing the FAA’s NOTAM system, our bipartisan legislation would improve aviation safety and prevent system outages from derailing travel,” said Klobuchar. “As co-chair of the bipartisan Travel and Tourism Caucus, I look forward to working with Representative Stauber and my colleagues in the Senate to advance this bill and strengthen our air travel infrastructure.” 

“The FAA has a responsibility to make certain air travel in the U.S. is as safe and efficient as possible,” said Moran. “The complete failure of the NOTAM system stranded millions of Americans and was a warning of the need to strengthen and modernize our air travel system. This legislation will help meet the demands of 21st century travel and help prevent a similar failure in the future.”

“After the Notice to Air Missions system failure grounded air traffic in the United States on January 11th, it is imperative that a group of aviation experts be assembled to look at ways to improve this vital safety system,” said Capito. “That’s exactly what our legislation would do, and I am proud to help lead this effort that will help strengthen the NOTAM system for pilots and essential personnel. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bill passed quickly and sent to the president’s desk.”

“Failures of the NOTAM system earlier this month stressed the need to upgrade the program to ensure the safety of pilots, their crews and passengers,” said Stauber. “I’ve heard from many pilots over the years about the vulnerabilities of the NOTAM system and my bill to address this has passed the House with bipartisan support the last two Congresses. My hope is that the Senate also passes this important legislation to help ensure another NOTAM system failure does not occur."

The task force would be composed of representatives from air carriers, airports, and airline pilot, aircraft dispatcher, and FAA personnel unions, as well as aviation safety and cybersecurity experts.

Earlier this month, Klobuchar and Moran spoke with FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen following the NOTAM system failure to discuss his agency’s efforts to identify the factors behind the system outage and prevent similar breakdowns from happening again.