GA groups steadfast in fight for pilots’ privacy rights

FAA extends deadline to remain in BARR program

July 1, 2011

In a full-court press against a Department of Transportation plan that would threaten pilots’ privacy rights by dismantling the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and AOPA filed a petition July 1, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit “to prevent the order from taking effect before it has ruled on the appeal.”

This follows a June 22 formal notice of appeal that the groups filed in an effort to overturn the FAA’s order.

"Without citing any abuses in the program, inefficiencies, administrative burdens, undue costs, or any other pragmatic rationale, FAA has declared that privacy concerns—categorically—no longer justify blocking private flight information from the public,” the groups said in the petition.

The same day the associations filed the petition, the FAA extended the deadline for aircraft owners and operators to file the necessary paperwork to remain in the program to July 14.

The congressionally mandated BARR program allows aircraft operators to block the N number and flight information, both real-time and historical information, from public viewing. Under the DOT proposal, anyone wishing to enroll in the program would have to prove a “valid security concern.” The DOT is scheduled implement changes that limit the BARR program on Aug. 2.

NBAA, EAA, and AOPA, however, remain united in their stand against the move. Members from all three associations have voiced their support for protecting the BARR program and pilots’ privacy rights. NBAA established a BARR Legal Defense Fund on June 22 for members to contribute to the cause. Contributions can be sent to BARR Legal Defense Fund, c/o NBAA and AOPA, P.O. Box 33788, Washington, DC 20033-3788.