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Petition Opposing Changes to the BARR Program
The FAA's newly proposed limitation to the BARR program ignores the legitimate need for the program, and runs directly counter to long-established assumptions about government's role in the protection of privacy.
NBAA has established this petition to collect names of those who would like to voice their opposition to the FAA proposal, which could jeopardize the privacy, security and competitiveness of those who operate general aviation aircraft for business.
NBAA has submitted this petition with the collected names to the formal docket, however NBAA will contintue to collect names of those who object to changes to the BARR program.
Current BARR users, NBAA Members and other interested individuals are asked to review this petition, add their names to the growing list of those who oppose this arbitrary, unnecessary and damaging change to the BARR program.
Docket Management Facility
US Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
West Building Ground Floor
Washington, DC 20590
To Whom It May Concern:
On March 4, the federal government published a notice in the Federal Register that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has tentatively decided to dramatically curtail the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program — effectively limiting the program’s privacy protection to only those with a known and specific security threat (broad security concerns would not be covered under this proposal).
Dramatically limiting the BARR to only those with a known and specific security threat 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 persons on board.
Since the inception of for-profit flight tracking services, aircraft operators have had the ability to protect their operations and prevent strangers from tracking individual movements. At all times, the FAA and Department of Homeland Security have access to information on all flights. The BARR program, authorized by Congress in 2000, “blocks” aircraft movements from public dissemination upon request.
The BARR program was established to address security-related, commercial, and privacy imperatives, and is essential to protect general aviation aircraft and flight information from real-time public availability. The BARR service constitutes the exclusive means by which such aircraft owners or operators can prevent competitors and unknown persons anywhere in the world from monitoring, on a real-time basis, the location of general aviation aircraft and the movement of employees, protect proprietary business information, and alleviate security concerns.
U.S. companies and individuals utilize all modes of transportation in the conduct of their business – the use of an aircraft is absolutely essential in meeting a portion of their transportation needs. U.S. citizens and companies have a fundamental right to privacy in their movements in all modes of transportation – it sets a dangerous precedent to single out any mode for separate or punitive treatment.
The policies and procedures of both federal and state governments in the U.S. have long recognized the need to protect information about the private movements of individuals and private companies from unknown third parties.
For example, the U.S. government does not make public the information it controls on the movements of automobiles that utilize E-Z Pass technologies. Transit entities like Metro do not make public the information they have on smart card holders. And, it is illegal for Amtrak and the commercial airlines to make public the names of their passengers. Tracking an aircraft tail number is the equivalent of the government allowing people to track the movements of an automobile license plate.
Throughout government, citizens’ privacy rights are a primary concern. For example, the FCC allows citizens to add their numbers to a “do not call list” and prevent unwanted personal intrusions.
The government has not provided any data or compelling public imperative that would support providing unknown parties – especially those engage in corporate espionage, or simply those who may wish to do harm to others – with the tools to electronically stalk U.S. citizens or companies on general aviation airplanes.
Based upon the previously described concerns, we strongly oppose the FAA’s action to modify the ASDI Memorandum of Agreement and urge the FAA to withdraw this proposal.