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Sat, Aug 20, 2011

NBAA Thanks Regional Groups For Backing Court Fight To Preserve BARR

Surge Of Contributions Seen To The Legal Defense Fund

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said Friday he appreciates a recent surge of contributions from a host of regional business aviation associations to a legal defense fund established to support a court fight to preserve the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program.

"The business aviation community is once again demonstrating its readiness to mobilize behind the industry's priorities," said Bolen. "We salute the leaders and members with these regional business aviation associations for contributing to the fund. Their financial backing for our court fight to preserve the BARR program highlights how important it is to the people and companies in our industry."

The fund was created, at the request of people in the general aviation community, by NBAA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), so that the industry could show its support for the two associations' court filing to preserve the BARR program.

For more than a decade, the program has allowed owners and operators the ability to "opt out" of having their aviation movements broadcast over the Internet. Earlier this year, government officials announced that on August 2nd, severe limits would be placed on the program. In July, NBAA and AOPA announced the creation of a web site for contributions to the BARR Legal Defense Fund. The announcement was immediately followed by a coordinated effort among local business aviation groups to make supporting the fund a priority.

The Kansas City Business Aviation Association (KCBAA) was the first regional group to contribute to the fund, with co-founder Scott Kraemer saying, "We're putting our money where our mouth is."

The KCBAA's contribution was followed by one from Colorado Aviation Business Association (CABA) treasurer and former acting Chair Iver Retrum, who donated on behalf of his organization. The Georgia Business Aviation Association (GBAA) immediately followed suit with its own contribution to the fund. "With all the political issues involving business aviation these days, we decided we should put our money where our beliefs are," said Dave Small, president of GBAA. "Our decision was unanimous," he added, noting that his group had challenged others to contribute to the fund. Soon thereafter, contributions were provided by the Southern California Aviation Association (SCAA), the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association (GSTBAA), the Arizona Business Aviation Association (AZBAA), the Wisconsin Business Aviation Association (WBAA), the Connecticut Business Aviation Group (CBAG) and the Teterboro Users’ Group (TUG).

On August 2, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) followed up on its plan to severely limit the BARR program. For the moment, aircraft owners and operators who want to opt out of having their aviation movements tracked must send a request to the FAA do so. NBAA and AOPA have encouraged aviators who believe they meet the new, security-based requirements for inclusion in the opt-out list to apply.

In addition to the court battle taking place over the BARR program, the government's plan to curtail it has also received attention from a bipartisan, bicameral group of congressional representatives.

Earlier in the year, the House of Representatives passed legislation preserving the BARR as part of its version of a reauthorization package for the FAA. The House legislation awaits reconciliation with the FAA reauthorization measure passed by the Senate. This month, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced a stand-alone bill to preserve the program. The legislation awaits consideration by the appropriate senate committees.

FMI: www.nbaa.org

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