D.C. Federal District Court Removes the BARR
A federal judge for the District of Columbia has ruled that aircraft tail numbers submitted for blockage under NBAA’s Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program must be made available in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). But the ruling does not permit the disclosure of real-time flight data, historical data or operator names. The BARR program was established more than a decade ago in response to recognized security concerns and competitive situations related to online flight-tracking services. The program, which allows NBAA members to have their flight information withheld from release outside the FAA, came under challenge in December 2008 when ProPublica filed the FOIA request shortly after the Big Three automakers flew separately in corporate aircraft to Washington to ask for federal bailouts. NBAA is unaware of what, if anything, ProPublica intends to do with the information, but said it is prepared to assist members in responding to inquiries. ProPublica describes itself as an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.