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NBAA's Carr: Make Your Voice Heard on BARR Changes
March 28, 2011
As NBAA Members know, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed sweeping changes to the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, which would allow for the Internet broadcast of all flights, with very few exceptions.
According to Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president for safety, security and regulation, "The proposed changes would severely limit an aircraft operator's ability to keep confidential details about points of origin, destinations, routes and arrival times. Instead, they would be visible on the Internet in real time."
The window for submitting public comment to the FAA closes on April 4, and if you value your privacy or that of your flight operation, now is the time to speak up.
"We're not going to get an extension on this," Carr said, referring to the short comment window afforded by FAA. "We have 30-days and that's all we're going to get. The more comments we get the more important it will be for government officials to respond to all of these positions.
"The initial response has been very encouraging," Carr continued. As of March 19th, more than 300 comments had been submitted to FAA, which Carr called "a very strong showing."
What should you say in response to the proposed changes?
"The more personal the comments can be, the better they are," Carr suggested. Signing an online declaration or petition is one thing – but relating to the government your own story is much more compelling, according to Carr.
"The best way to submit very beneficial comments is to have that very personal touch. Talk about how this would affect your operation. What would you consider doing if, as in this case, your tail number was unprotected? Would it change the way you operate or would it require you to do other things to get the same kind of protection the current program offers for free?"
NBAA is offering several resources to members of the general aviation community who want to submit comments on BARR changes to the FAA. Carr said one of the most effective tools is a document called "Writing Comments to Federal Regulatory Proposals," which has sections outlining each aspect of creating an effective comment, and thought-provoking ways to organize your thoughts as you make your case.
Another effective tool is the webinar NBAA has created to help you in the process of commenting on the proposed BARR changes. The webinar is available on the NBAA BARR page, along with other highly useful information.