The FAA’s Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed (LADD) and Privacy ICAO Address (PIA) programs offer privacy protections in the age of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). Review answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the subject.
What is the LADD program and how does it differ from the BARR program?
The Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed (LADD) program builds upon earlier privacy protection efforts by specifically addressing the data shared by the FAA to third parties, regardless of the source from which it was derived.
LADD also provides greater enforcement capabilities to the FAA against third parties that may violate those protections, including possible suspension or termination from receiving FAA flight tracking data for any parties that may inadvertently or knowingly share such information.
With the new LADD program, what will happen to the BARR program?
The BARR program will be transitioned over to LADD.
I am currently enrolled in the BARR program. How do I transition to the LADD program?
Operators currently registered in BARR will be automatically transitioned to LADD by the FAA. Participation in PIA will require additional action by the operator. Learn more about the PIA program.
Will the LADD program allow me to block my call sign or flight number as well as my tail number?
Yes, both call signs and flight numbers may be entered on the FAA’s LADD request form.
Under the LADD program, can I designate which parties I can share my data with?
The LADD program allows operators to select “FAA source blocking,” in which aircraft data is limited to FAA use only and is blocked to all third parties, or “subscriber blocking,” in which flight data is only made available to select vendors. The FAA is currently evaluating an option allowing operators to select specific third-party vendors with whom their flight data may be shared, but this is capability is not yet available.
Can flight-tracking vendors display historical data for an aircraft on the LADD list?
Flight-tracking vendors may not display historical data for any aircraft registration or call sign while the aircraft is included in the LADD list.
How do I participate in the LADD program?
Operators that do not wish to have their aircraft data shared by the FAA can submit LADD requests via:
- Online form on the FAA’s dedicated LADD website at ladd.faa.gov
- Email to email@example.com
- Physical mail to the FAA
How do I unblock my aircraft from the LADD program?
To unblock your FAA flight data, submit a “No Blocking/Unblocking” request to remove any data limits previously requested. This request will remove aircraft data limiting. Your flight tracking data will resume being transmitted to vendors who receive FAA data feeds.
How does the PIA program work to block real-time ADS-B data?
Aircraft equipped with ADS-B transmit the aircraft’s ICAO address, position, altitude and velocity to other aircraft and ATC. This broadcast, known as ADS-B Out, can be received by non-FAA, third-party data sources.
The PIA is an alternate, temporary ICAO aircraft address that isn’t tied to a named operator in the Civil Aviation Registry (CAR). To ensure privacy, ADS-B Out is configured to use the PIA instead of the operators permanent ICAO aircraft address.
How can I enroll in the PIA program?
In order to receive a PIA assignment, the requester will be required to submit the following information:
- Acknowledgement of the FAA notification of collection and management of personally identifiable information (PII) for the management of PIA assignment and their use in the national airspace system (NAS)
- Acknowledgement of the PIA Rules of Use in the NAS
- Valid aircraft registration for the aircraft that will be assigned the PIA (Permanent ICAO aircraft address)
- Proof of authorization to use a third-party Flight ID with the identity of the provider
- Aircraft owner’s contact information: phone number, email address and business or home address
- Aircraft owner’s individual/company/organization information
- Requester’s contact information: phone number, email address and business or home address
- Validation that the aircraft’s ADS-B emitter performance is qualified for ADS-B operations (PAPR report within the past 180 days)
- Aircraft operator’s justification for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption, if applicable
The FAA will verify the information provided by the requester prior to assigning the PIA and ensure that there are no open FAA enforcement actions associated with the aircraft, which would preclude the aircraft’s use of this mechanism for improved privacy until the current action is resolved.
Once the necessary information has been submitted, the requester should expect to receive a PIA assignment via email within 10 business days.
Upon receiving the assigned PIA, the requester has 30 calendar days to program his/her ADS-B transponder to the assigned PIA, fly in ADS-B coverage airspace, and complete the verification process via the website.
Once the FAA acknowledges that the verification process is complete and validates that the reprogrammed ADS-B transponder is emitting the correct PIA, the requester will receive a final confirmation via email.
However, if the requester does not submit a PAPR within 30 calendar days of the PIA assignment, the assigned PIA will be rescinded, and the requester will need to start the application process again.
For the purposes of this program, a flight in any ADS-B airspace will suffice for the sake of a PIA test flight. Moreover, the test does not need to be a dedicated flight. Aircraft owners may elect to complete the test as part of any routine flight following the installation of a PIA. If you cannot perform a flight test within 30 calendar days of receiving your PIA assignment, please respond to the email you received issuing your PIA. The FAA may grant an extension if no other flights by that aircraft have occurred.
How frequently can I change my ICAO address under the PIA program?
During Phase 1 of the PIA program, where the program is administered by the FAA, aircraft operators will be able to request a new PIA assignment following a 60-calendar day period from their previous PIA assignment.
Phase 2 of the PIA program is expected to start in mid-2020, where the operation, monitoring and maintenance of the program is transitioned to third-party service providers. After this transition is complete, operators will be able to request a new PIA assignment following a 20-calendar day period from their previous PIA assignment.
Why are operators required to use a third-party call sign when using a PIA?
A third-party call sign enables the operator to maintain privacy while in communication with ATC while allowing the FAA, as necessary, to obtain the identification of the aircraft and its operator for response to security related request from DoD, DHS or local law enforcement. Third-party call signs are available from a “Third Party Call Sign Provider”, a commercial service which has a security agreement with FAA.
Can I use the PIA or LADD program security and privacy protections while flying internationally?
Other ICAO member states currently do not offer this capability, so it is being limited to U.S. domestic operations at this time to avoid potential conflicts. Aircraft equipped with Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) ADS-B avionics, including dual 1090/UAT equipped aircraft, are currently not qualified for PIA assignment.