Unblocking delay in ownership change


How long does it take for FA to unblock an airplane when it is sold to a new owner?

Consider N486SP. It was blocked by the previous owner through FA. Sold to a new owner 3 months ago, still blocked. The new owner didn’t request FA to keep blocking it.

Does the new owner get blocking forever without asking for it? Or how long does it take for the block to go away? Does the new owner have to do something? If so, why?


Aircraft are not unblocked when sold. If the owner would like us to unblock the aircraft immediately, they can fax us a letter requesting that their aircraft be unblocked along with proof of ownership (aircraft registration and additional supporting documents if necessary to link the name of the requester with the name listed on the registration). This will only unblock the aircraft on FlightAware; to unblock the aircraft with all ASDI vendors, the owner needs to fill out the NBAA BARR unblock form, which will take effect within about a month.


Ah, so they get blocking forever if they do nothing.

Interesting oddity. The default is for an aircraft to be unblocked, unless it was blocked in the past, then the default is to block it. So an owner who does nothing, they may or may not be blocked depending on what someone else did in the past. Kind of weird given that the new owner had his blocking status controlled by someone who now doesn’t own the aircraft.

What happens if an airplane changes registration numbers? I suspect that it becomes unblocked.

A change in the N number has more effect on the blocking of an airplane than the change in ownership. Curious.


Can I buy you a beer?


I would expect that the aircraft will inherit whatever status comes with the new registration by default.

If you’re gonna put N12345 on your plane, and that number was blocked by the previous holder of the registration, then N12345 will be blocked after you put it on your plane until you request that it be unblocked.

If you’re gonna put N98765 on your plane, and that number was never registered or never previously blocked, then it would be unblocked by default.

I don’t KNOW if it works that way, but that’s my expectation of how it works.


If an aircraft was blocked via the BARR program that aircraft will remain blocked until such time that there is some sort of change made and recorded by the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch in Oklahoma City. The key here is recorded, because when a change is made to an aircraft registration it can take up to 120 days for the new registration to be recorded and issued (and be posted on the FAA’s website).

In the mean time, if while the aircraft is being operated under the temporary registration the registrant chooses to submit another BARR blocking request, that request will usually be in place, based on the submission of a copy of the temporary registration, prior to the recording and posting of the new registration information…so no lapse in blocking. If no new BARR blocking request is made the old blocking goes away once the new registration information is recorded and posted as the old registration information becomes invalid.

That’s been my understanding and experience with registration changes and the BARR program.


The new owner’s registration was recorded on Jan 17th, 2008, more than 2 months ago, so the change in registration did nothing for the block.

It does not look like the aircraft is blocked at the ASDI level, but at the FA level. Is the BARR program at the ASDI level?


I’m not aware of any checking that the NBAA does to see if blocked tail numbers change ownership, but its certainly possible. Note that foreign registrations (which have opted in to the ASDI feed) and flight numbers (ICAO airline code + number) can also be blocked via the NBAA BARR program.

There are two ways to block a flight: with the FAA or with NBAA. If you block your flight identification with the FAA, it is excluded from the ASDI feed so no ASDI vendors can track your flight. If you block through the NBAA, you’re added to a list that is distributed to all the ASDI vendors and the ASDI vendors do the blocking (so we can also offer features like selective unblocking).


From NBAA:

NBAA will administer the BARR Database on behalf of the FAA. NBAA will manage BARR submissions for blocking by ASDI Vendors and at the FAA Source.


Requests for adding/dropping aircraft from the list will be taken at any time, however the block will not go into effect immediately. The block database at the FAA source at the VOLPE Center will be updated quarterly. Aircraft operators considering the FAA level block should first check with their flight tracking vendor to discuss the impact that this option will have on their ability to monitor flights. The block database will be submitted to ASDI vendors monthly. The following chart reflects cut off dates and action dates for the adding/dropping from the block list.

Blocked at FAA Source

Requests made by: Feb 15… Will take place by: 1st business day of Apr.
Requests made by: May 15… Will take place by: 1st business day of Jul.
Requests made by: Aug 15… Will take place by: 1st business day of Oct.
Requests made by: Nov 15… Will take place by: 1st business day of Jan.

So see what happens after April 1st.

In my experience, an aircraft that I had blocked became unblocked whenever I had submitted an amendment to the registration, after the process and the above quarterly cycles.