BARR Privacy Battle Continues

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) filed a joint opening brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit opposing the FAA’s major revisions to the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program. The associations argue that the revisions are illegal and should be invalidated.** **

AOPA president and CEO Craig Fuller said: “…just because the government collects information doesn’t mean it should be broadcast over the Internet for viewing by electronic stalkers, the paparazzi or a businessperson’s competitors. We are confident the court will find the FAA’s unprecedented new policy defies both law and common sense.”

The BARR program, which was put in place in 2000, allowed aircraft owners and operators the option to prevent public dissemination of flight information pertaining to an aircraft’s tail number. But under the new rule, detailed in a notice of modification to the FAA/Subscriber Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) issued on June 3, only certain aircraft with a “Certified Security Concern” are allowed to opt out.

Despite overwhelming opposition from not only industry organizations and aircraft owners and operators, but also civil liberties groups, business organizations and the U.S Chamber of Commerce, to name a few, the FAA put the new rule in place on Aug. 2. In the MOA, the FAA used the government’s focus on openness and disclosure and the Freedom of Information Act to justify its decision.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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