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BIRDTAM

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Article Information
Category: General General
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: EUROCONTROL EUROCONTROL

Description

A BIRDTAM is a specialized Notice To Airmen providing information regarding bird strike risk or warning, particularly for low level airspace. Unlike ASHTAM or SNOWTAM, BIRDTAM is not an official International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) term and is not in universal use. However, the term BIRDTAM is recognised in the European Aeronautical Information System Database (EAD) and has its own Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN) address.

Discussion

BIRDTAM is the name given to an AFTN message, formatted to a specific NATO standard, which was originated by military services to provide information about bird strike risk, particularly in lower level airspace. The coverage area is relatively small, confined mainly to Northern Europe.

A BIRDTAM is based on observed bird activity, be it human observation or radar analysis, and predicted bird movement. Activity location is identified by use of a two letter grid reference assigned to a one degree by one degree area. A BIRDTAM will contain the following information:

  • Originator's Sequence Number
  • Effective Time - date and time in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
  • Expiration Time - date and time in UTC
  • Intensity Level - intensity level is assigned a numeric value between 0 and 8. Only values of 5 or higher are reported. The risk levels assigned to reportable numeric values are:
    • 5 - Fairly Great
    • 6 - Great
    • 7 - Very Great
    • 8 - Extremely Great
  • Affected Area - the affected area(s) will be listed by grid reference
  • Low Altitude - the base height of the bird activity (surface (SFC) or Mean Sea Level (MSL) reference as appropriate)
  • High Altitude - the upper level (reference MSL) of the activity

A typical BIRDTAM as issued by the German Bundeswehr Geoinformation Office is as follows:

BIRDTAM NUMBER: 0280

EFFECTIVE TIME: 10 MAR 16:16

EXPIRATION TIME: 10 MAR 20:30

INTENSITY LEVEL: 5

AFFECTED AREA: MC

LOW ALTITUDE: SFC

HIGH ALTITUDE: 6000

Current BIRDTAM information, as issued by the German Bundeswehr Geoinformation Office and approved by the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), can be found online at the FAA NOTAM website. This site includes a graphic showing both the coverage area and the grid identification system and also highlights the areas affected by the BIRDTAM(s) currently in effect.

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Further Reading

EUROCONTROL

Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses - France