Lufthansa Systems Blog

NOTAM processing for the Lido Flight Planning Solutions (Part 1 of 2)

Image showing NOTAM processing, from reception, to automatic or manual processing (with crosscheck), to final use by pilots or dispatchers
Image showing NOTAM processing, from reception, to automatic or manual processing (with crosscheck), to final use by pilots or dispatchers

05. Oct 2021

What are NOTAMs? How are they processed for the Lido Flight Planning Solutions? What NOTAMs must be clarified, and how is this done? Our Aeronautical Data Service Owner - Agnieszka Ostrowska - explains…

Lido Flight 4D is the most reliable and proven flight planning solution available, providing dynamic data integration and a high degree of automation. Automatic checks for aerodrome availability, best available approach procedure, sufficient rescue and firefighting category, or route optimization are just few examples. The results of these are only operationally reliable if they are based on up-to-date data. This is where notice to airmen (NOTAMs) come in.

NOTAMs are published 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. An average of approximately 9,000 NOTAMs are delivered daily by Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) officers worldwide. Aeronautical data service staff handle them all, nonstop, within strict time limits.

Immediate runway closure, instrument landing system failure, power outage at the aerodrome, or airspace closure due to military activity published just before activation can drastically change the flight plan. When such a NOTAM is published, the Lido Flight 4D parser automatically scans it to define its type, content, effective date, and time, and thus, priority. Around 70% of NOTAMs are then automatically processed by the system - these are repetitive, uncomplicated cases that can be handled by the machine. The data maintenance personnel must interpret the rest of them, as NOTAMs are a free text that can deal with any topic and impose any kind of restriction.

From time to time, a clarification is required as NOTAMs are formulated by people - context and formulation is often very important.  Language skills also vary from time to time.  The main task of the person processing the NOTAMs in Lido Flight 4D is to translate all the restrictions for the system, so it will apply the NOTAMs for all flight planning actions by all Lido customers. If for example, a Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) becomes unserviceable, all approach procedures that are using it will be closed (for all affected runways on all affected airports). If a runway is closed, it will be designated as such, so Lido Flight 4D will not consider it for operation. If a NOTAM-defined restricted airspace is activated, its horizontal and vertical limits will be defined in Lido Flight 4D, and it will be made unavailable for route selection within specified times and limits.

There are - of course - still areas that can be improved. There are many NOTAMs published, and some of them are operationally insignificant, badly described, incomplete, old, and contain logical errors. The Lufthansa Systems Aeronautical Data Support team is also continuously working on that, from clarifications with publishers on particular examples, to taking part in global NOTAM enhancement initiatives. 

Head to next blog to find out how Lido is supporting ICAO with heir Global Campaign on NOTAM improvement (NOTAM2021).

Tags: NOTAMsLidoLido Flight 4DLufthansa Systems Blog
Lyndal Moeller
Product Marketing Manager
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Lufthansa Systems Blog