Comment Period Open for Revised BARR Rules
May 16, 2012 - Aircraft owners, operators, and the public have until June 8, 2012, to comment on the FAA's revised rules for the Block Aircraft Registration Request program. The BARR program allows aircraft owners to prevent real-time public access to flight information, which includes departure and destination airports, plus actual altitude, speed, and location of the aircraft. Without BARR, anyone in the world with access to the Internet could get this information simply by typing in an aircraft N-number.
The public comment period for the revised rules (FAA-2011-0183) focuses on what aircraft owners should report to participate in the BARR program. Those items include:
- The name of the requestor;
- The registration number(s) of the aircraft to be blocked or unblocked;
- A certification that the requestor is the owner or operator of the specified aircraft;
- A telephone number and electronic mail address to which the FAA can direct questions about the request; and
- For a request to block one or more aircraft, a statement indicating whether the requestor desires ASDI blocking at the FAA source or at the industry level, which allows the owner secure access to information on his or her own airplane.
The FAA and Department of Transportation wanted to scrap the BARR program last summer, but faced unified opposition from the GA community. NBAA and AOPA filed suit to block the program's dismantling, and EAA filed a friend of the court brief in that action. Last August, Congress directed as part of an appropriations bill amendment that the program be continued.
The GA community contended the BARR program is essential as a safeguard for the privacy of those owning and operating aircraft, as well as the passengers on board those aircraft. Law enforcement and federal security agencies continue to have access to all tracking information for GA aircraft, even those involved in the BARR program, to preserve national security.