House Version Of The FAA Reauthorization Bill Would Preserve
The NBAA joined with other general aviation operator groups
Friday in a letter urging Congress to complete reauthorization
legislation for the FAA that also would maintain the current FAA
Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program.
NBAA joined with the AOPA and EAA in signing the letter which
points out that together the groups "represent nearly all of the
general aviation aircraft operators in the United States -
including thousands who participate in the BARR program for
legitimate privacy, security and competitive reasons."
"The letter emphasizes the overwhelming importance of protecting
the privacy of all citizens, preventing corporate espionage, and
preserving the security of general aviation flight operations,"
said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.
In reconciling the differences between the House and Senate
reauthorization bills, the groups urge that the final legislation
include Section 817 of the House-passed FAA reauthorization
measure, H.R. 658, which would preserve the BARR program. The
BARR program was originally enabled by Congress in the 2000 FAA
reauthorization bill (Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and
Reform Act for the 21st Century) in response to advances in
computer technology and the advent of for-profit commercial flight
Under the BARR program, the FAA, Department of Homeland
Security, and law enforcement agencies always retain their ability
to track general aviation aircraft movements, but general aviation
operators are provided the ability to "opt-out" of having their
real-time private movements disseminated beyond the government to
unknown third parties throughout world. The House legislative
provision directs the FAA to continue the program and allow
aircraft owners and operators to opt-out of having their flight
information published by these flight-tracking services, and notes
that the online broadcast of general aviation movements by
government against citizens' will "does not serve a public policy
A notice was published in the Federal Register in March that the
FAA has tentatively decided to dramatically restrict the BARR
program, effectively limiting privacy protection for general
aviation operators to only those with a known and specific security
"Americans have a reasonable and appropriate expectation of
privacy in their personal movements regardless of the mode of
transportation involved," the letter reads. "It would set a
dangerous precedent to establish a policy that movements in any
type of vehicle (whether car, train or airplane) can be
disseminated by the federal government to unknown third parties
against a citizen's will."
The letter notes that the current BARR program has succeeded for
more than a decade by providing a "do not track" option similar to
other opt-out programs throughout government, while maintaining
government's and law enforcement's ability to track all general
aviation aircraft movements.