March 2, 2022

Ongoing concerns about operator privacy in the ADS-B environment are at the forefront of recent discussions between NBAA and the FAA on potential improvements to the Privacy ICAO Address program, or PIA.

For decades, the FAA has tied an aircraft Mode S transponder (ICAO) code to the aircraft registration. PIA allows operators to use alternate ICAO codes that are not published in the FAA’s publicly available aircraft registry.

Heidi Williams, NBAA senior director for air traffic services and infrastructure, noted the FAA’s current 60-day timeframe between PIA requests is insufficient, and the agency is working to reduce the time to issue a new code in direct response to concerns expressed by the association. That includes a dedicated initiative to provide a new PIA code much more quickly should an operator’s current code become compromised.

“With the increasing availability and public awareness of technologies capable of reading and sharing aircraft transmissions, it’s clear the current timeframe for PIA code changes is not sufficient,” said Williams. Operators seeking a new code less than 60 days following the issuance of their previous PIA code should contact the FAA at

NBAA also is working with the FAA to expand airspace authorized for aircraft using PIA codes, such as FAA-managed oceanic airspace off the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the U.S. and airspace managed or controlled by other international air navigation service providers.

“This is an evolving process, and we thank the FAA for responding to our concerns and working with NBAA and the business aviation community to make PIA a more effective and agile process,” Williams said.

Members are encouraged to visit NBAA’s dedicated PIA resource to learn more about the issue.