That of course allows those neat tracking sites like Flight Aware and to track each flight and show it graphically over the geography and with weather depicted as well. The flight’s aircraft number, its altitude and ground speed, its expected time of arrival and its destination are portrayed. It is therefore possible for anyone with a computer or a cell phone with an app to know precisely where any airline flight or corporate aircraft is at any time.

If, say, you want your office, or family or transportation provider, FBO or other legitimately interested person to know your airplane’s whereabouts this information is just great.

But there is a downside. If you don’t want to be tracked, then you would have to opt out of the program using a provision called BARR, Block Aircraft Registration Request. That would allow your aircraft number to be kept from inquiring eyes.

Well the Government, never at loss for stupid actions, has decided to eliminate the BARR program except in special instances of real terror or security threats.

This of course means that anyone who flies will be able to be tracked by the bad guys who will know when you are away from home or office, where you are conducting business, maybe with whom you are meeting and where and when you will be home.

So instead of helping people feel and be secure, our Government is helping pilots and their crews and passengers be less secure.

Way to go Government, way to go! This must have been approved by the Department of Homeland Security which in addition to monitoring your flights likely monitors your phone calls, e-mails and lots of other stuff.

Big Brother is watching everything, including your flight. There is hope, lots of aviation trade organizations are suing the Government so maybe some Federal Judge will recognize the privacy implications and order the DOT to leave well enough alone. Arthur Alan Wolk


About Airlaw

For more than 50 years, The Wolk Law Firm has concentrated its practice in the area of aviation law, with Arthur personally generating verdicts and settlements of more than a billion dollars during the last decade alone. He is known for obtaining and on appeal, holding, the largest verdicts for each type of air accident claim in recent aviation history.

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