NBAA applauds Senator Roberts for legislation to preserve BARR


Many lawmakers in both houses have expressed support to retain BARR

The National Business Aviation Association
(NBAA) has hailed the introduction of legislation by Senator Pat Roberts 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.

“On behalf of NBAA member companies
across the US,
we thank Senator Roberts for introducing his bill supporting the BARR,”
said NBAA president and chief executive 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 and Thad Cochran, 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.”

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.