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Runway Surface Condition NOTAM

Advisory Circular
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Advisory Circular
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Transport Canada Advisory Circular AC 300-019 introduces and explains the Canadian implementation of the ICAO Global Reporting Format (GRF) for runway surface condition reporting. It contains information of interest to air crew and NOTAM originators.

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Aeronautical Information Circular

Aeronautical Information Circular

NAV CANADA Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) 33/20 outlines the RSC NOTAM approach in order to improve understanding of its dissemination and to help air crew interpret the new format.

Canadian NOTAM Operating Procedures (CNOP)

Canadian NOTAM Operating Procedures (CNOP)

Chapter 8 of the CNOP provides information on runway surface condition reporting procedures for NOTAM originators.


Frequently asked questions

General Questions

The current NOTAMJ reporting system (SNOWiz) will be replaced by the NOTAM Entry System (NES). NES aligns with regulatory changes associated with RSC NOTAM and provides an improved user interface for airport and aerodrome operator users.

To facilitate the coming introduction of the Canadian RSC NOTAM, NAV CANADA will replace its current NOTAMJ reporting system (SNOWiz) with the NOTAM Entry System (NES) effective August 12, 2021. The NES is being developed to reflect the contents of Transport Canada’s Advisory Circular (AC) 300-019 - Global Reporting Format (GRF) for Runway Surface Conditions, which provides the relevant information and guidance. Once RSC NOTAM is in effect in August 2021, NES will serve as the primary input tool for NOTAM information, including RSC and CRFI reports. RSC NOTAMs will be reported via the defined Series for Canada, International, and U.S. distribution.

No. As with a normal NOTAM, if a NOTAM is in French the French portion will follow the English text.

RSC NOTAM will be distributed in the following series:

  • RSC NOTAM disseminated to International stakeholders, to the USA and within Canada will be Series S: INTL (approximately 35 aerodromes).
  • RSC NOTAM disseminated to the USA and within Canada will be Series A: INTL-USA (approximately 500 aerodromes).
  • RSC NOTAM disseminated within Canada only will be Series B: National (approximately 300 aerodromes).

No. Only paved runways can report RWYCCs.

No. The decision to report RWYCCs is separate from the requirement to report CRFI by thirds. More information can be found in AC 300-019 and CAR Standard 322.416.

No. A runway is only to be reported in thirds if Runway Condition Codes (RWYCCs) are included.

Yes. Depending on the operational requirements of the aerodrome and how the runways are used. For example, If an aerodrome has a runway that is primarily used by commercial traffic and another runway primarily used by general aviation it may decide to report the runway used by commercial traffic in thirds and the one used by general aviation by full length.

No. The percentage of the runway that is not contaminated no longer needs to be reported. In the above example, the only requirement is to report that 30% of the runway (or runway third) is covered with dry snow. More information can be found in AC 300-019.

The reporting of depth for contaminants will now be reported in fractions of an inch instead of decimals.

No. If runway lights are covered by snow such that they are not visible this is deemed to be an unserviceability and the information is presented in a regular NOTAM (not RSC NOTAM).

Terms and Definitions

It means “Not Reported” and is only used when a CRFI measurement is not provided.

No. these terms have been replaced by “dry” and “wet” respectively. In addition, the terms “bare and damp” and “trace” are no longer in use.

The term “lower rwy threshold” refers to the threshold with the lower runway designator compared to the other runway end. For example, for runway 12/30, the threshold of RWY 12 would be the lower runway threshold and the threshold of RWY 30 would be the higher runway threshold.

The term “slippery when wet” is used as a runway descriptor instead of the term “wet” when a normal NOTAM is in effect stating that the runway no longer meets friction requirements determined by Transport Canada. If reporting by full runway length, this is the only change.

If reporting by runway thirds and a normal NOTAM is in effect stating that the runway no longer meets the necessary friction requirements, the maximum value for the RWYCC of any third is 3 regardless of the associated runway condition or contamination. Therefore, if one third normally had a condition that resulted in a RWYCC of 5, it would be limited to a maximum of 3. Also, the remaining thirds would also have a RWYCC no higher than 3 regardless of their condition, even if they are dry.

In addition, if any third has a runway surface condition that is less than 3, then that value is applied to all three thirds regardless of condition or contamination in the other thirds. For example, if the first third had a condition that resulted in a RWYCC of 2, then the remaining two thirds would also have a RWYCC of 2 regardless of their condition, even if they are dry.

Refer to AC 300-019 for additional information.

What is meant by “RSC Validity Time” and “RSC NOTAM End Time”?

An RSC NOTAM contains all runway observations in a single NOTAM message. Therefore, the report validity is linked to the observed conditions for the specific runway being reported and is mentioned at the end of the report for each runway (Valid From – To). 

The “NOTAM End Time” is solely related to the NOTAM medium being used to report Runway Surface Condition (RSC) information. This time is identified in Item C) of the NOTAM message and is the time the NOTAM will be automatically removed from the system. Note that this differs from NOTAMJ, which only reported the time of the last observation for the observed runway. No end of validity time existed and the NOTAMJ would have to be manually cancelled.

More information can be found Canadian NOTAM Operating Procedures (CNOP) Chapter 8 and AC 300-019.

Example of an RSC NOTAM comparing RSC NOTAM Validity and RSC Report Validity