FlightAware Discussions

The Privacy ICAO Address (PIA) Program

How will the FAA’s The Privacy ICAO Address (PIA) Program affect this website, the services it provides, and the useful data that those of us with Flight-feeders collect?

Thanks In Advance…Big Ed

I think it remains to be seen what effect this will have. I suspect it won’t actually change all that much for feeders - aircraft that are used to travel outside the US can’t use this program and have to use their actual ICAO. Those that do use it will still be tracked, but just have an unknown ICAO similar to blocked aircraft in mlat results at the moment.

Since these temporary addresses are not being changed every flight, it only takes one person to see an aircraft and make a note to identify it, those who are particularly interested will still end up being able to see who has gone where. Almost certainly some people will make a point of trying to find out who is hiding behind such numbers, simply because they can.

From a practical point of view, I don’t know how easy it will be for people to take advantage of. Whether the temporary ICAO is easy to set in the avionics by a pilot, or requires the input of an engineer to do so will be a major factor.

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Thanks for the input.