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Kansas Senator Introduces Bill to Preserve BARR

EAA continues support for legislative and legal efforts

August 4, 2011 – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), a member of the Senate’s General Aviation Caucus, has introduced a bill that would preserve the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, allowing private aircraft owners to opt out of open public tracking of aviation movements by anyone with an Internet connection.

The bill (S. 1477), the BARR Preservation Act of 2011, would prohibit the FAA from broadcasting indentifying information about GA aircraft over the Internet without the permission of aircraft owners and operators. The measure, co-sponsored by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), would still allow aircraft ID to be known to all essential security agencies and air traffic facilities.

It would reverse the Department of Transportation’s intention to dismantle BARR beginning this week and limit its access only to aircraft owners and operators who can verify a “valid security concern.”

“We appreciate this effort to find a legislative solution to maintain the BARR program,” said Doug Macnair, EAA’s vice president of government relations. “Congressmen and senators from both sides of the aisle have expressed grave concerns about the DOT action, and Sen. Roberts’ action is the first step toward putting those concerns into tangible action.”

EAA has filed an amicus brief supporting a legal challenge by AOPA and NBAA against the DOT’s plan. A full hearing on that challenge has yet to be scheduled. The House of Representatives has included language preserving BARR in its FAA Reauthorization Bill, which is currently in conference committee to reconcile it with the similar Senate bill.

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