Thread: NOTAMS
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Old 17th Mar 2017, 15:14   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 3,834
As I observed here in 2004:

It would help if more of our paperwork was in human readable format.

Take a look at the VOMM notams: [link updated - Airbubba]

The runway cutback is notamed but it is buried in a sea of cryptic minutiae. Actually, the web page is cleaner than the paperwork I get in Asia with page after page of ICAO Annex 15 formatted text. It is like having to read the source code of a web page to figure out what it looks like.

This 1930's teletype stuff is a little behind the times even in the less developed countries. Sure, after the mishap you can find the warning buried in the pile of paper but the idea is to make things easy to get right, not easy to screw up (in the American system, anyway <g>).

Have you been to Taipei since the Y2K Singapore Airlines crash? The taxiways are now well marked, construction areas are lit up like a fire truck. It took a fatal mishap to get the known runway/taxiway confusion cleaned up.

How many mishaps will it take to get paperwork that can be read by us country boys tryin' to earn a living?

A British colleague years ago told me that their cultural obsession with complexity and detail in aviation comes from the nautical tradition of making navigation so complicated that the enlisted men can't figure it out and mutiny. I laughed until I saw that he wasn't joking...
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