Washington, DC, March 4, 2011 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today issued the following statement regarding the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) publication in the Federal Register of a call for comment in response to the Agency's plan to severely limit participation in the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program.
"The NBAA opposes the FAA's proposed limitations on the BARR program because we believe they represent an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of aircraft owners and operators, a threat to the competitiveness of U.S. companies and a potential security risk to persons on board," said Bolen.
"The government's proposal ignores the legitimate need for the BARR program, and runs directly counter to long-established assumptions about government's role in the protection of privacy. When the sanctity of citizens' private conduct is threatened by the use of information technology, government's job is to protect the individual, not facilitate the intrusion – that's why the public isn't given access to E-Zpass records detailing where people are driving, or to credit card transactions revealing what consumers are buying.
"As an additional concern, the proposal creates an unnecessary competitive vulnerability for American businesses, which are trying to operate in a highly competitive world – a world in which the revelation of a company's aircraft movements can be tantamount to the forfeiture of that company's competitive edge.
"Here's the bottom line: NBAA sees no reason why our government should want to provide unknown parties – especially those engaged in corporate espionage, or simply those who may wish to do harm to others – with the tools to electronically stalk U.S. citizens or companies on general aviation airplanes. We will vigorously oppose this plan, and we expect that individuals and businesses will raise a chorus of strong, unified opposition to it as well."
View a copy of the government's filing to the Federal Register, read NBAA's concerns about the changes to the BARR program and view information for submitting comments to the federal docket by visiting www.nbaa.org/barr.
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