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AOPA Releases Weather Survey Results

September 29, 2021

AOPA Releases Weather Survey Results

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) released the results of its annual survey of how pilots use aviation weather resources, noting new insights, trends, and some challenges in modernizing weather-information dissemination against a backdrop of rapidly evolving technology that is driving user behavior.

Among the top trends noted in the 2021 Weather Survey was confirmation of the steady reduction in the role of flight service specialists in providing preflight weather briefings as pilots shift to briefing themselves using online and mobile resources. However, a human voice on the line is sometimes just what the doctor ordered: when
pilots do call flight service, it is frequently because they are seeking a professional’s help extracting key elements of weather data—something an app can’t provide. Thanks to survey respondent feedback, the app Windy.com, appearing in previous surveys “as a write-in response,” was added to the 2021 survey as a response option. Other digital weather products, along with offerings in development but already available for pilot evaluation, show promise. AOPA also recommended that the success of the FAA Weather Camera Program, a much relied-on prior-to-flight briefing tool in Alaska, makes the case for expanding the program in Alaska and in the lower 48 states. Research funding should be increased “to make it a 24-hour source of information, as opposed to a daylight-only system.” AOPA has conducted the annual weather surveys since 2017. Data for the 2021 report was based on responses from 2,409 pilots in the continental United States, 148 pilots in Alaska, and seven in Hawaii.
   —Please see https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/allnews/2021/september/16/aopa-releases-findings-of-annual-weather-survey for the complete summary of the survey results.