Key Takeaways: ForeFlight has adopted Jeppesen’s high-quality NOTAM feed as the sole source of NOTAMs in the app and on the web, an example of the ongoing effort to integrate Jeppesen’s data resources for the benefit of ForeFlight customers. This change expands our global NOTAM coverage to include many previously-unsupported countries from South America to Asia, and also improves NOTAM accuracy by removing old NOTAMs more promptly.
The week before the release of ForeFlight version 13.0 on January 25th, our team completed and released a significant yet easy-to-miss update to ForeFlight’s NOTAM system: we fully transitioned to using Jeppesen as the source of all NOTAMs in ForeFlight. Many months in the making, this change greatly enhances both the accuracy and global coverage of in-app NOTAMs thanks to the Jeppesen team’s work building and maintaining a high-quality NOTAM feed over many years.
Domestic & International NOTAMs
Any NOTAM issued by a country usually fits into one of two categories: International NOTAMs or Domestic NOTAMs. As you might suspect, the former are those that directly affect international flight ops, while the latter apply only to local operations within a given country. And while most of the large NOTAM aggregation and distribution sources – such as the United States NOTAM Office and EUROCONTROL’s EAD feed – carry all international NOTAMs, they often miss domestic NOTAMs from other countries and therefore provide incomplete coverage outside of the United States and Europe.
Jeppesen solves this problem by working directly with the primary NOTAM issuers in countries around the world to create a robust feed that includes domestic NOTAMs in addition to international ones. The existing global relationships established by Jeppesen for sourcing AIP and chart data allows them to maintain this state-of-the-art NOTAM system and provide complete coverage for flight departments operating all over the world.
The countries and regions that have improved domestic NOTAM coverage with Jeppesen’s feed include South Africa, Central America, Cuba, New Zealand, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Russia, India, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Out with the Old, in with the NOTAMs
So how do ForeFlight customers benefit from this new and improved NOTAM feed? As noted above, the new system provides many domestic NOTAMs that were previously unavailable in several countries. Below is an example of this from South Africa, one of the countries providing Jeppesen with domestic NOTAMs.
This comparison between the old (left) and new (right) NOTAM feeds illustrates the substantial difference that including domestic NOTAMs can make. These screenshots also demonstrate the other major benefit of the switch: more accurate NOTAMs. Note the effective date of the unreliable runway light NOTAM in the left screenshot. Since the end date for this NOTAM later the same month was marked as estimated, the NOTAM was treated by the system as permanent and thus never removed, a common problem for semi-permanent NOTAMs or those with uncertain end dates under our old NOTAM feed. With Jeppesen’s feed, such old and expired NOTAMs are removed more promptly, ensuring that stale information doesn’t persist long after it ceases to be relevant.
Canadian SNOWTAMs & More
ForeFlight customers flying in Canada may also notice some welcome improvements in NOTAM accuracy and consistency, particularly with regard to NOTAMJs or “SNOWTAMs”, Canadian domestic Runway Surface Condition NOTAMs. These are issued on a daily basis or even more frequently during the winter for nearly all airports in Canada, providing critical information for pilots planning their next flight. With Jeppesen’s NOTAM feed Canadian pilots can expect an improvement in the timeliness and accuracy of these critical NOTAMs whenever they’re issued.
While not all pilots will notice the change, especially those flying in the US or Europe where coverage of domestic NOTAMs isn’t a significant problem, those flying in many other countries around the globe – from Canada, to South Africa, to Brazil, and more – can expect to find more accurate and more complete NOTAMs the next time they check their local airport in ForeFlight.