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NBAA, AOPA, EAA Welcome FAA’s Decision to Fully Restore BARR Availability

WASHINGTON, DC, December 2, 2011 – Three leading general aviation organizations today welcomed plans announced by government officials for lifting restrictions on a program that allows aircraft owners and operators to “opt out” from having their flight information broadcast over the internet.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that, effective immediately, those wanting to enroll aircraft in the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program would no longer need to provide a “valid security concern” in order to be included in the program. Representatives with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) welcomed the announcement.  

The FAA moved to impose the restriction on August 2nd. Today’s announcement notes that the agency’s decision to lift the requirement has been made following the passage of a congressional appropriations bill (H.R. 2112), which includes language prohibiting the agency from imposing the “valid security concern” requirement, or any other requirement, as a prerequisite to participation in the BARR program.

“NBAA and its members thank the leaders in congress for taking action to address our industry’s long-standing concern that curtailment of the BARR program represents an invasion of privacy, a competitive threat to businesses, and a potential security risk,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We commend the Administration for working with our industry to implement this change.”

“On behalf of our AOPA members, we thank those in congress and the Administration who recognize the importance of assuring a measure of privacy protection to individuals operating their own aircraft,” said AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller. “We are pleased to have the BARR program back in operation.”

“We appreciate the efforts of those in congress who acted to preserve the privacy rights of aviators within the BARR program,” said EAA President and CEO Rod Hightower. “We also applaud the efforts of those within the aviation community who worked together on this important issue.”

Earlier this year, NBAA and AOPA filed a court challenge to the government's curtailment of the program, and the EAA filed a friend of the court brief supporting the suit. It now appears, following a hearing this morning in which a government attorney conceded that the FAA would no longer defend its August policy, that the case will conclude to the satisfaction of the three associations. 

“Our associations will keep members advised as we learn further details of these developments,” Bolen said. “In the meantime, we want to thank those in the industry who have supported our efforts.”

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