FAA Releases Final Policy on Tail Blocking

 - August 27, 2013, 3:10 PM

The FAA released its final policy last week regarding the procedures for allowing aircraft owners and operators to have their flight information blocked from online flight tracker sites. The policy now codifies how Aircraft Situation Display to Industry (ASDI) data–which can be viewed online in real time to track airplanes via websites such as FlightAware–is to be handled.

This move comes some two years after Congress passed H.R.2112, which required the FAA to permit operators to block their aircraft from flight trackers after the agency attempted to all but do away with the Block Aircraft Registration Request program, as it was known then. The FAA instead wanted “operators to submit a certified security concern to have their aircraft blocked from the public’s view,” a narrow requirement that few could have met. Under the policy since Congress passed H.R.2112 (and just now codified), operators need to submit only a general written request to have their tail numbers blocked from flight-tracking sites.

“As NBAA has long maintained, flight tracking creates real concerns involving corporate competitiveness, personal security and privacy–none of which should have to be surrendered in real time just because someone boards his or her own airplane,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “We are satisfied that the FAA is demonstrating its readiness to preserve a program that takes these concerns into account.”