2011 Press Releases

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NBAA Applauds Sen. Roberts for Legislation to Preserve BARR

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]

Washington, DC, August 3, 2011 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today hailed the introduction of legislation by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) to preserve the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, thereby allowing people and companies to opt out from having their aviation movements tracked by anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Specifically, the BARR Preservation Act of 2011, S. 1477, disallows the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from broadcasting identifying information about general aviation aircraft over the internet against the wishes of aircraft owners and operators.

"On behalf of NBAA member companies across the U.S., we thank Senator Roberts for introducing his bill supporting the BARR," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "The senator recognizes that the government's plans for the BARR represent an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of aircraft owners and operators, a threat to the competitiveness of U.S. companies and a potential security risk to persons on board general aviation aircraft. We are committed to working with the senator to help advance this important proposal."

The Roberts legislation, which is co-sponsored by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), notes, in part, that "the federal government's dissemination to the public of information relating to a noncommercial flight carried out by a private owner or operator or an aircraft, whether during or following the flight, does not serve a public policy objective."

Introduction of the legislation coincides with the August 2nd date for implementation of the government's plans for severely limiting access to the BARR program only to aircraft owners and operators who can verify a "valid security concern." The DOT announced its intentions for the BARR earlier this year with a filing in the Federal Register.

People and companies in the general aviation community have expressed an outpouring of principled opposition to the government's plan. Aviation groups, major business organizations and privacy interests have done likewise.

The DOT's plans have also been opposed by a bipartisan, bicameral group of congressional representatives. Last month, 33 House lawmakers sent a letter asking the DOT Secretary Ray LaHood to set aside his plans for the BARR. In June, a similar letter was sent by 26 senators, including Roberts.

Earlier in the year, the House passed legislation preserving the BARR as part of its version of a reauthorization package for the FAA. The House legislation awaits reconciliation with the FAA reauthorization measure passed by the Senate.

Separately, NBAA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) are challenging the government's plan in court. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) also has filed a friend of the court brief supporting the suit. A full hearing on the matter has yet to occur, but it expected in the coming months.

To support the court fight, NBAA and AOPA have established a legal defense fund. A web site for the fund provides an easy, convenient way for people to make a contribution toward this important fight.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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