NBAA, FAA Working To Resume Barr Program

 - November 29, 2011, 4:09 PM

Over the past week, NBAA has been in discussions with FAA officials to determine the logistics of resurrecting the Blocked Aircraft Registration Request program. The FAA ended the tail-number blocking program in August, but a Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill passed on November 17 contained a provision effectively ordering the FAA to reinstate Barr. NBAA said it expects to receive more complete guidance from the FAA shortly, “But at this point it is clear that anyone currently blocking their movements as part of the FAA’s Certified Security Program will not have a gap in their ‘blocked’ status.” The FAA created the Certified Security Program post-Barr to allow operators with “bona fide” security concerns to block their tail numbers from online flight tracking sites. “It is also clear that the FAA will now accept new blocking requests, but as a result of the budget legislation, aircraft operators will no longer need to certify or even reference a ‘valid security concern’ to have their blocking request accepted,” NBAA said. Blocking requests can now be sent to the FAA at


Could we not have a system that would allow us to specify who can see the tail number, when, and for how long? That way we could allow an FBO to see our predicted arrival times, and use flight tracking software in our flight departments without excessive worry of the wrong people getting the information. Perhaps we are waiting for the National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace (NSTIC) to finally be implemented before this kind functionality can be provided? See

Personally I don't have a problem with anyone following my flight on Flightaware, or any other program for that matter, but I recognize the security need, for various reasons, with other operators. The program as previously constituted seemed to work well, allowing those with a bonafide reason to opt out. Seems fair, reasonable, and meets the needs of the masses.

Back to business as usual for corporate flight departments that abuse corporate aircraft policy, now the public and stockholders won't know that you're taking your family to Bermuda for the weekend on the company's time/aircraft.

I have to agree with Mr. Howery. The movements of the well connected will go back to being privileged information. Stockholders will not know if the airplanes owned by their companies are actually tools of business, or playthings for the powerful. I'm all for business aviation, but it should be business aviation, not junkets for congressmen or golf vacations to Scotland. Business airplanes are for capitalism, not cronyism.

I agree with Howery and Bravo. Personally witnessed Wells Fargo-owned Falcon tri-jet aircraft landing at Austin Executive airport with *two* passengers on a Saturday, last month. This was a plane the size of a regional airliner, probably 20 seats, that must cost $10,000/hr. to operate. No worries when the shareholders are paying for it!

Similar to Freat, I watched two Gulf Stream jets board a total of four passengers in Lebanon, NH. The vacation gear was significant. The grandchildren models of traveler poise. Still, the stockholders for this company could better invest their money.

So what was all the fuss about in the first place if the FAA so easily reverts back to even less oversight? I agree with the program, but see this past month's worth of fuss as simply more of the Obama Administration looking for political cover.

To those of you who think this is about just the well connected hiding their movements in aircraft are incredibly misguided. This is about liberty, freedom and a reasonable expectation of privacy. Let me give you a personal example of how flawed your thinking is. I fly a small reciprocating twin engine aircraft. I chose the airplane as a safe mode of transportation for my family and while on business trips. I am not a fat cat or a corporate executive flying a multi-million dollar jet. Just someone who loves aviation and finds traveling in this manner a very cost effective way of getting from point A to point B. In addition I also perform Angel Flights for cancer victims who can not afford to get to treatment donating my time and money.

As a result of our government issuing flight movement activities of my aircraft to a private entity such as Flight Aware I was hit with a 34,000.00 dollar tax bill in the form of a use tax for flying my plane (mostly Angel Flights for Charity) in the state of Maine during my first year of ownership. I live in NH! To make a long story short I had to go to the State Supreme Court and appeal this tax bill. Fortunately the case was dismissed however it still cost me significant legal fees.

My point is much of the information gathered by through flight aware was inaccurate and caused many of my problems. Since then I signed up for the BARR program. Let me ask you this do you want the government to put a GPS in your car to track your movements? They are proposing to do just that! Then wait for the tax bill on number of miles driven per year.

Get a clue people this about liberty, freedom and a reasonable expectation of privacy!

Mr. Grinnell

Show comments (8)