NBAA: FAA Proposal "Creates Vulnerability"
Friday, the FAA proposed changes to the program that blocks certain public access to real-time flight tracking by allowing it only for operators with a "Valid Security Concern," and NBAA immediately opposed the plan. The FAA's proposal notes that "the Privacy Act does not protect general aviation operators" from public access to their flight information. NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said Friday that the move, which would release more flight information to the public, represents "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." The FAA's proposed changes would still allow operators to participate in BARR (a program that blocks aircraft registration requests) if certain conditions are met.
To have their information blocked, operators must show provide a written request that shows a "Valid Security Concern," as defined by the FAA. The FAA would then provide written approval valid for one year. The FAA has defined a "Valid Security Concern" as "a verifiable threat to person, property or company, including a threat of death, kidnapping or serious bodily harm against an individual, a recent history of violent terrorist activity in the geographic area in which the transportation is provided, or a threat against a company." NBAA sees no reason why the government should provide "the tools to electronically stalk U.S. citizens or companies on general aviation airplanes" to unknown individuals with unknown interests. Find the full text of the FAA's proposal here and NBAA's comments here.