BARR Program In Jeopardy

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Point of Impact: Restaurant Equipment World

Owner Says: 'My Company's Competitive Edge Is at Stake'

March 9, 2011

Orlando-based businessman and pilot Brad Pierce is happiest when he's talking about how his family-owned company, Restaurant Equipment World™, is prospering even in a tough economic environment, thanks to his workhorse, a Cirrus SR22 turbo.

But, now he's worried because government officials have submitted a plan to the Federal Register that would severely limit participation in the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, which keeps his flights from being monitored in real-time by unknown third parties using online tracking services.

"My company's competitive edge is at stake," Pierce explains. "Having a blocked tail number keeps competitors from knowing where I'm going, what major customer I am visiting when I land at a convenient airport near their corporate offices, what conferences and trade shows I'm attending," he says.

"My aircraft is my primary transportation method for doing business," Pierce explains. "Allowing a change to this program would be like allowing me to be able to click on a website and see where my competitors' vehicles are going, where they are making deliveries. That would be great competitive information to have."

"Can you imagine the public outcry if companies were required to put GPS tracking devices on their vehicles, all available for public view with nothing but an internet browser?" he asks. "That's essentially what they want to do with business aircraft."

"We're not saying the appropriate government and law-enforcement authorities shouldn't know where we are, and those parties do have that information," Pierce says, noting that, as one example, has flights are tracked in real time by the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration].

"But making it possible for any random person or competitor to get that kind of window into our business operations – I think that's wrong," he says. "I value privacy for myself, my employees and my business operations."

Pierce is proud that his second-generation family business is growing even in an economic climate when many Americans have cut back on restaurant dining. Today, Restaurant Equipment World™ has 50 employees and over 90,000 customers nationwide and internationally.

"We couldn't do all of this without our airplane – it's great for business," he says. Pierce tells of a recent last-minute flight to North Carolina to help a customer solve a problem. The quick service call in his four-seater airplane netted a large new order.

Recently, Pierce was able to fly the Cirrus from a Chicago business breakfast to meetings in Iowa and Nebraska, and end the day at a business dinner in Denver.

"I even made a business stop in Lexington, Kentucky, on my way up to Chicago the day before, and made another stop on the return from Denver," he explains.

"Thanks to our airplane we've managed to do well, even in the downturn," he says. "It's more than a business tool – it's a business asset."

Hear NBAA Flight Plan interview with Pierce

For More Information

For more information on the proposed limitations to the BARR program, are to share how the proposed limitations will affect your company, please contact NBAA's Operations Services Group at (202) 783-9250 or info@nbaa.org.