September 28, 2011
By AOPA Communications staff
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced that it will hear argument on Dec. 2 in a case brought by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and AOPA that seeks to overturn the restrictions that the government imposed on the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said, “We are pleased that the general aviation community will soon have its day in court. We look forward to explaining to the Court of Appeals why the government’s move to severely limit the BARR program represents an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of aircraft owners and operators, a threat to the competitiveness of U.S. companies and a potential security risk to the persons aboard aircraft.”
AOPA President Craig Fuller agreed, adding, “The government’s action is unprecedented and unreasonable. Aircraft operators willingly provide information about aircraft movements to the government. But that doesn't mean the information should be available to anyone, anywhere, at any time. That’s the case we intend to make on December 2, and we welcome the opportunity to do so.”
Bolen and Fuller thanked the general aviation community for its continued support for the two associations’ aggressive legal challenge to the government’s move to curtail the BARR program, citing the financial contributions provided by individuals and a host of local business aviation groups to the BARR Legal Defense Fund. NBAA and AOPA established the fund earlier this year at the request of individuals in the industry, to provide a means of demonstrating support for their court challenge to preserve the program.
A website for the BARR Legal Defense Fund provides an easy, convenient way for people to make a contribution toward this important fight.
For the moment, aircraft owners and operators who want to opt out of having their aviation movements tracked and broadcast must send a request to the FAA do so. NBAA and AOPA have encouraged aviators who believe they meet the new requirements for inclusion in the FAA’s opt-out list to apply.
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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