The National Weather Service: One major source of delays for Airlines

Last year I had an op-ed entitled: "Does Government Weather Forecasting Endanger Lives?" Well, some new reports are out and they don't make the National Weather Service look very good. Here is a new GAO report:

Although interagency agreements between NWS and FAA state that both agencies have responsibilities for assuring and controlling the quality of aviation weather observations, neither agency consistently does so for weather products and services produced at the en route centers. Specifically, neither agency has developed performance measures and metrics, regularly evaluated weather service unit performance, or provided feedback to improve these aviation weather products and services. Because of this lack of performance tracking and oversight, NWS cannot demonstrate the quality or value of its services, and FAA cannot ensure the quality of the services it funds. Until both agencies are able to measure and ensure the quality of the aviation weather products at the en route centers, FAA may not be getting the information it needs to effectively manage air traffic.

Private weather services have said that they would be happy to provide weather service predictions "at a lower cost than currently provided" by the NWS.



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