Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR)

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Three Major Business Groups Oppose BARR Changes

March 11, 2011

Three of the nation's largest business groups have written FAA Administrator J. Randolph Babbitt to register serious concerns about the government's plan to limit participation in the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program.

In a letter, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable declared that the government plan was an invasion of privacy, a threat to business competitiveness and a potential risk for persons

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable have told FAA Administrator J. Randolph Babbitt opposing the government's plan to severely limit participation in the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR).

"Privacy of movement is a fundamental American value," said the letter, which was copied to every member of the United States Congress. "With this proposal, the government is targeting for broadcast the movements of those individuals and companies who utilize GA airplanes. We do not believe there is any mode of transportation where the public dissemination of private movements is warranted."

The group compared the plan to a government broadcast of the location of any automobile driver with an E-Z Pass, and said the government should reject any plan that would allow electronic stalking of Americans and American companies.

The three business groups protesting the FAA's proposal represent most American businesses, both large and small. U.S. Chamber of Commerce members total more than three million businesses, 96-percent small businesses. The National Association of Manufacturers works for large and small manufacturers nationwide that have over 12 million workers. And the Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies that comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market.

NBAA President Ed Bolen, in an interview first broadcast Tuesday on the streaming video channel of the 400,000+ member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, agreed that the proposal was "dangerous, invasive and anti-competitive." "It's fundamentally inconsistent with government's long-established obligation to protect privacy, not to compromise it," he said.

NBAA issued a statement immediately following the introduction of the FAA's plan, and the Association intends to file extensive comments on the proposal in the 30-day period provided for industry comment. Bolen has also called upon NBAA Members to ensure their voices are heard on the government's BARR proposal by submitting comments of their own to the federal docket.

The 30-day window for comment on changes to the BARR concludes on April 4, 2011.