AOPA President Phil Boyer responded quickly when Time magazine this week tried to reignite the argument over whether or not general aviation aircraft pose a threat to nuclear power plants.
In a full-page ad, Time showed two small aircraft tied down with cooling towers in the background. The caption read, "Remember when only environmentalists would have been alarmed by this photo? Join the conversation." In a letter to the editor, Boyer responded, "By using such an inflammatory caption, you have chosen to begin the conversation by yelling 'Fire!' in a crowded movie house. You preclude any further rational discussion."
Boyer pointed out the physical improbability of a light GA aircraft causing any kind of significant damage to a hardened nuclear power plant. In addition, he directed Time's editors to an independent study commissioned by AOPA confirming that general aviation aircraft simply don't have the destructive potential to harm a nuclear power plant.
"AOPA welcomes a conversation about aviation security," Boyer told the magazine editors. "Our 389,000 members simply ask that if Time, Inc. would like to begin that discussion, you do so responsibly."