Stauber’s bill improving aviation safety notifications advances to Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 25 voted 424-4 to approve a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) that would improve aviation safety notifications across the nation. The measure now heads to the U.S. Senate for action.

“My hope is that the Senate acts and passes this important legislation to help ensure another NOTAM system failure does not occur,” Rep. Stauber said, referring to the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM), a notice containing information essential to flight operations personnel that states the abnormal status of a component of the National Airspace System.

The NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023, H.R. 346, would require clearer safety notifications to pilots and updates to the computer system, according to Rep. Stauber, who sponsored H.R. 346 on Jan. 12 with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA). U.S. Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) signed on as a cosponsor on Jan. 24.

“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 Rep. Stauber. “I’ve heard from many pilots over the years about the vulnerabilities of the NOTAM system and this bill to address this issue has passed with bipartisan support in the last two Congresses.”

“A systemwide crash is not merely a ‘glitch.’ It should only be described as unacceptable,” said Rep. Womack, who said the recent NOTAM failure stressed an urgent need to overhaul a technology imperative to America’s transportation infrastructure. 

“Taking immediate steps to correct and prevent future problems is necessary,” Rep. Womack added. “People and businesses rely on these systems, and keeping passengers and goods moving safely in our skies is a requirement.”

H.R. 346 would establish a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) task force to determine what improvements should be made to the NOTAM system, which alerts pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight. This includes updates to ensure the stability, resiliency, and cybersecurity of the NOTAM computer system, according to information provided by Rep. Stauber’s office.

“Following the FAA meltdown earlier this month, it is clearer than ever that improvements must be made to our aviation safety systems,” Rep. DeSaulnier said. “I am proud to have been leading the effort to upgrade the NOTAM system with Congressman Stauber and to push the FAA and the aviation industry to ensure a safe, efficient, and reliable service for American consumers.”