Three leading general aviation organizations have welcomed plans announced by government officials for lifting restrictions on a program that allows aircraft owners and operators to "opt out" from having their flight information broadcast over the internet.
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that, effective immediately, those wanting to enroll aircraft in the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program would no longer need to provide a "valid security concern" in order to be included in the program. Representatives with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) welcomed the announcement.
The FAA moved to impose the restriction on August 2. This announcement notes that the agency’s decision to lift the requirement has been made following the passage of a congressional appropriations bill (H.R. 2112), which includes language prohibiting the agency from imposing the "valid security concern" requirement, or any other requirement, as a prerequisite to participation in the BARR program.
Earlier this year, NBAA and AOPA filed a court challenge to the government's curtailment of the program, and the EAA filed a friend of the court brief supporting the suit. It now appears, following a hearing this morning in which a government attorney conceded that the FAA would no longer defend its August policy, that the case will conclude to the satisfaction of the three associations.
"Our associations will keep members advised as we learn further details of these developments," Bolen said. "In the meantime, we want to thank those in the industry who have supported our efforts."