Have you met Norm? He’s learning what a Notam is.

By Declan Selleck


Actually, he already knows.  He’s seen more than 2 billion of them, read through them, grouped the words, and in the same way that you or I would, learned what different Notams look like, mean, and what they are about.

What Norm has no idea about though, is how important any particular Notam is. Until he learns from the people that know, he won’t know the difference between grass-cutting times, and airport closure times, in terms of criticality to crews.

Norm (full name Norman the Notam Organizational and Recognition Model) is an Artificial Intelligence ‘bot’ being built by ICAO and FSB. Calling him a bot does him a disservice; he’s already much smarter than a bot, but needs more training.

Norm  has one job: identify critical NOTAMS and highlight them, so that crews and dispatchers don’t miss the important stuff.

For this, FSB needs human pilots and dispatchers to teach him what is critical and what is not. When presented with a new NOTAM, Norm can then give it a criticality rating. He needs a sample of at least 10,000 NOTAMS to become usable, and 20,000 to become smart.

FSB is using the power of OpsGroup to train him – a collective of 4,000 airlines, operators, pilots, and dispatchers that work together and share information on changes, operational challenges, security, risk, and …. fixing Notams.

There are over 30,000 NOTAMS out there at any moment in time. Some are critical, most are not. Norm will ensure that crews have the option of seeing only the critical ones first.


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Declan Selleck

Declan Selleck

Declan is a Flight Service Specialist with OPSGROUP.

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