Sat, Apr 02, 2011
Association Calls On Agency To Withdraw Its Plans
In comments submitted to the federal government Thursday, the
NBAA outlined a number of serious concerns raised by the FAA's plan
to severely limit the ability of companies using general aviation
airplanes to opt-out of having their movements published by
NBAA's comments were submitted in response to a notice recently
published in the Federal Register regarding the FAA's intention to
curtail significantly the Block Aircraft Registration Request
(BARR) program - a proposal that has been met with strong
objections from NBAA, its members, and other major industry groups
in and outside the aviation sector. The FAA's proposal for
curtailing the BARR program is "fundamentally inconsistent with
well-established public policy principles regarding the
government's obligation to protect the sanctity of wholly private
conduct - principles that are currently receiving more attention
than ever from the Administration, other agencies, and Congress,"
NBAA says in its comments to the public docket. "While the FAA and
other government agencies clearly have a need for the subject data,
the Notice fails to identify any government interest whatsoever
that would be advanced by preventing owners and operators of
private aircraft from blocking the disclosure of flight tracking
information to unknown persons."
NBAA's comments, which add to the hundreds of submissions by
individuals, businesses and other entities that oppose the FAA's
plan for the BARR program, detail the numerous reasons the FAA must
rescind its proposal. For example:
- The FAA's plan is fundamentally at odds with government's
traditional role - preserving citizens' privacy from emerging
technologies, not facilitating intrusions upon that privacy.
Indeed, the proposal fails to acknowledge the vital interest that
individuals or companies have in withholding information about
their movements from anyone, anywhere in the world with an Internet
- The government's plan identifies neither a government interest
that would be advanced by implementing the proposed changes, nor a
public benefit that would flow from its implementation.
- The government's proposal would set a standard for proof of
security risk so high that few individuals or companies with
legitimate security concerns could ever meet the test. Equally
important, the plan fails to address strong public policy interests
in protecting privacy and competitive information.
- The plan does not explain how the FAA, whose responsibilities
for general aviation security were moved to the Transportation
Security Administration nearly a decade ago, would be able to
administer such complex new security requirements.
After NBAA's comments were submitted, NBAA President and CEO Ed
Bolen reminded Association Members that the deadline for entering
statements into the public docket on the FAA's plan for the BARR
program is Monday, April 4, and that it is vital that the business
aviation community be heard on the issue.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen
"Many NBAA Members have already made their voices heard on
importance of the BARR program, by filing comments in the public
docket, telling their stories to the media, and expressing their
concerns to Congress," he said. "That type of activism is critical
in this fight, and the industry must continue to mobilize to ensure
that our collective opposition to the FAA's plan to curtail the
BARR program is well understood."
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