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FAA to Extend Deadline for Paperwork to Remain in BARR Program

EAA supporting general aviation operator groups in court fight to protect BARR

July 1, 2011 —After being notified that general aviation operator groups plan to challenge changes to the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday, July 1, 2011, agreed to extend from July 5, 2011 to July 14, 2011 the deadline for owner/operators to submit paperwork to remain in the program "for the convenience of the Court." For the moment, the implementation date for the Department of Transportation's (DOT's) planned changes remains August 2, 2011.

The National Business Aviation Administration (NBAA) has administered the BARR program for a number of years. Members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) have expressed strong support for maintaining the ability to preserve the BARR, which allows individuals and companies to "opt out" of having their aviation movements tracked over the Internet.

The NBAA and AOPA filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on June 22 seeking to overturn the FAA's order. Today, the associations asked the court to prevent the order from taking effect before it has ruled on the appeal. In seeking court-ordered relief, the petition states, "Unless stayed, a new policy from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will begin infringing the basic privacy of thousands of private aircraft owners and operators on August 2, 2011."

The petition continues, "Without citing any abuses in the program, inefficiencies, administrative burdens, undue costs, or any other pragmatic rationale, FAA has declared that privacy concerns - categorically - no longer justify blocking private flight information from the public." It argues that the FAA's action is arbitrary and capricious, and will cause irreparable harm to private aircraft owners and operators.

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