ABC News taps Boyer for GA perspective on National Weather Service bill

May 20, 2005

ABC News taps Boyer for GA perspective on National Weather Service bill

AOPA President Phil Boyer appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings Thursday in a story about proposed legislation that would restrict public access to the National Weather Service (NWS). Boyer presented general aviation's opposition and explained that obtaining weather data is a critical part of preflight planning for pilots.

"Forty percent of all fatalities are caused by weather-related factors," Boyer said.

The proposed bill, introduced by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), would prohibit the NWS from offering any "product or service that is or could be provided by the private sector."

On the newscast, Boyer demonstrated how he uses a computer to access weather data as a routine and necessary part of preflight planning. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) emphasized the need for public access to the NWS, particularly in Florida, which was ravaged by hurricanes last year. Santorum was also interviewed in the story.

This is not the first time NWS products have been threatened, and AOPA has successfully protected access to it in the past.

May 20, 2005