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Kansas City-Area Business Aviation Group, Airport Managers Join BARR Fight

July 11, 2011

The Kansas City Business Aviation Association (KCBAA) and the General Aviation Airports Coalition (GAAC) have joined the fight to prevent the FAA from dismantling the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program.

"We're putting our money where our mouth is," said Scott Kraemer, one of the founders of the KCBAA, "and we hope other regional business aviation associations will follow suit." The Association is donating $1,000 from its treasury, and encouraging other business aviation associations across the country to get involved. The group will consolidate all donations into one contribution to the BARR Legal Defense Fund on Friday, July 15.

Separately, the airport manager members of the GAAC voted Tuesday, July 5, to make public their displeasure with the FAA's action and support for NBAA and other industry groups opposing the BARR dismantlement. The GAAC's opposition adds another aviation industry segment to the chorus of opposition to the government's action against the BARR.

"We're airport managers, the people who are at GA's point of benefit," declared Richard Lewis, chair of GAAC and manager of the Concord Regional Airport in North Carolina. "We see with our own eyes the benefit that business aircraft bring to our communities and hear the exasperation of company employees at the loss of the key competitive advantage of the BARR program."

The FAA announced June 2 that it would dismantle the BARR program, which has for more than a decade helped companies maintain a competitive advantage by allowing them to "opt out" of having their aviation movements tracked by anyone, anywhere in the world over the internet.

NBAA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) announced June 22 that the two associations would file suit in federal court to stop the FAA from proceeding with its plan. On July 1, NBAA and AOPA asked the court for a temporary injunction until the court rules on the original lawsuit. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has supported the legal challenge to the government's plan to dismantle the BARR.

For more than a decade, the Congressionally enabled BARR program has helped address companies' security, safety and competitiveness concerns. The FAA's drastic curtailment of the BARR program will largely eliminate the availability of the program for all but a few companies.

The KCBAA is also soliciting donations from its member companies for the BARR Legal Defense Fund, with special invitations to the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association (GSLBAA), the Minnesota Business Aviation Association (MBAA) and the Colorado Aviation Business Association (CABA). Kraemer said KCBAA member companies are having no trouble understanding the importance of defending the BARR program. "It's critical for many of our members," he said.

KCBAA members cited numerous reasons the BARR program should not be dismantled, including maintaining a competitive advantage' protection from "cyber-stalkers" is another reason. "Then here's the right to privacy," said Kraemer. "How would you like to have your position, speed, point of origin and destination and estimated time of arrival broadcast every few seconds to everybody in the world on every trip you take?"

To contribute to the NBAA/AOPA BARR Legal Defense Fund online, use the BARR Legal Defense Fund donation form.

To send a contribution via postal delivery, please address a check to:

BARR Legal Defense Fund
c/o NBAA and AOPA
P.O. Box 33788
Washington, DC 20033-3788

For further information, visit the BARR Legal Defense Fund web site, or contact NBAA's Benjamin Schwalen at bschwalen@nbaa.org or (202) 783-9266, or AOPA's Pilot Assistance Hotline at pilotassist@aopa.org, (800) 872-2672.