Aeronautical information is updated in several ways, usually the most urgent would be using a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which is like an old school bulletin type stuff which really for our time has become obsolete and a better system is needed. Efforts towards this are being made with Digital NOTAM and other initiatives, except that these seem more like a palliative than a fundamental restructuring into something better.
Besides NOTAM, we have Supplements, Circulars and amendments which updates the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) and the topic of this blog is specifically about amending the Aeronautical Information Publication trough Amendments.
Currently there are two types of amendments that can be used to update the AIP, these are regular and AIRAC amendments. What is AIRAC?
AIRAC stands for Aeronautical Information Regulation And Control and stems from the ICAO Annex 15 – Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) document and defines a series of common dates and an associated standard aeronautical information publication procedure for States.
|CALENDAR YEAR 2016|
|Cycle||Ident||RAD Cut-Off (D -56)||RAD Publication D -28)||AIRAC|
|1||1601||12 NOV 15||10 DEC 15||07 JAN 16|
|2||1602||10 DEC 15||07 JAN 16||04 FEB 16|
|3||1603||07 JAN 16||04 FEB 16||03 MAR 16|
|4||1604||04 FEB 16||03 MAR 16||31 MAR 16|
|5||1605||03 MAR 16||31 MAR 16||28 APR 16|
|6||1606||31 MAR 16||28 APR 16||26 MAY 16|
|7||1607||28 APR 16||26 MAY 16||23 JUN 16|
|8||1608||26 MAY 16||23 JUN 16||21 JUL 16|
|9||1609||23 JUN 16||21 JUL 16||18 AUG 16|
|10||1610||21 JUL 16||18 AUG 16||15 SEP 16|
|11||1611||18 AUG 16||15 SEP 16||13 OCT 16|
|12||1612||15 SEP 16||13 OCT 16||10 NOV 16|
|13||1613||13 OCT 16||10 NOV 16||08 DEC 16|
Regular amendments are those that can be sent in any date with information that does not need to be provided in advance according to the AIRAC rules, .
With this background information I will now articulate 5 reasons why we should ditch regular AMDT and use AIRAC only
- People sometimes publish information in Regular AMDT that should have been published using AIRAC. I mean with so much information overload it’s a matter of time when you start mixing things.
- People sometimes publish and distribute Regular AMDT on the same date not providing time to receive the changes and process them. Of course this means a little bit of lack of understanding of ICAO SARPs and documentation but then again isn’t it much of it just recommendations and open to interpretations.
- AIRAC AMDT are expected on specific dates and if no publication is made a NIL notification using NOTAM is received, this makes its predictability an asset for everyone. Usually AIS personnel think they can send regular AMDT on whatever date, you should actually publish when you will in your AIP
I bet all stakeholders expecting AMDTs start shivering once they get regular AMDT at the last minute and then find out critical information has been included.
- AIRAC AMDT is really an efficient way to update information, instead of getting hundred of pages to update every 6 months or so, you get small packets you can process 42 days in advance (good luck with that at most you get 28 days if they are very proficient) making it way easier to deal with
- Really if information can be provided in a Regular AMDT it surely can be provided in an AIRAC AMDT
Common ICAO people, just come into the 21st century, acknowledge things are different now and please eliminate unnecessary complexity