Federal Court ruling on 'Blocked' tail numbers . . .

I’m guessing the flight tracking services are walking a fine line with blocking, on one hand some blocked aircraft owners will be customers for tracking their aircraft, on the other hand every month more and more aircraft are blocked - taking a lot of the ‘fun’ out of tracking??

Seems like a great time to file a suit to fully unblock all aircraft.

Question; why is it the foreign registered aircraft using an American publicly funded service - are blocked from our view?

PROREPUBLICA successful lawsuit update . . .

June 17 update includes mention to FlightAware.

Court Opens Blocked N Numbers

AVweb AVflash

March 1, 2010

A federal court has ruled that the FAA must release aircraft registration information previously kept secret in a special program if it receives a Freedom of Information request.

For about 10 years, private aircraft operators have been able to have their N numbers “blocked” from outside scrutiny under the National Business Aviation Association’s Blocked Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program (www.propublica.org) submitted an FOIA request to the FAA to release the list of BARR participants, claiming the owners of the aircraft were using the program to prevent public scrutiny of their use of the aircraft. The FOIA request came shortly after the Big Three automakers made headlines by using corporate aircraft to travel to Washington to ask for federal bailouts.

NBAA went to court to block the release of the information citing security concerns, but on Friday a D.C. district court ruled the FOIA requests must be honored; it did not extend the order to include real-time requests for information on aircraft.

That the information can only be released through the formal FOIA process is of some solace to NBAA, but it regards the ruling as a mistake.

“NBAA has long believed that security and other imperatives make it absolutely essential to protect our Members’ aircraft and flight information from being made widely available, which is why we created the BARR program,”
said Bob Lamond, NBAA Director, Air Traffic Services and Infrastructure.
“Unfortunately, and in spite of our work to uphold the BARR program through every legal avenue available, the court has ruled the above information cannot remain permanently sealed.”

NBAA says it doesn’t know what ProPublica plans to do with the information, but it’s ready to help members in a media relations role if they’re contacted about their aircraft use.

mtnbiker2005 said this over in general discussion…

Bad Will!! BAD!!! Forgetting the link like that… :laughing:

Here ya go rob.

discussions.flightaware.com/view … 944#106944

I didn’t forget the link… :neutral_face:

In response to a lawsuit filed by the National Business Aviation Association against the FAA and ProPublica, a United States district court recently ruled that the FAA is bound by the rules of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and must disclose the list of tail numbers of aircraft that are on the FAA Block List. Many of our users have inquired as to what this means for FlightAware flight tracking information. FlightAware would like to pass along the following key points:

  • The scope of the ruling applied is to disclose the list of registration numbers of aircraft on the blocked list, not to disclose current or historical flight tracking positions. FlightAware cannot disclose tracking information of aircraft on the Block List (with the exception of FlightAware’s Selective Unblocking customers).

  • To access the list of blocked aircraft, a person must file a Freedom of Information Act request with the FAA. FlightAware cannot pass along this information.

Further clarifications of this matter, if needed, should be directed to the FAA.