With Help from Congress, Bizav Wins Barr Battle
President Obama signed a $12.5 billion transportation, housing and urban development appropriations bill on Friday containing language that reinstated the Block Aircraft Registration Request (Barr) through at least Fiscal Year 2012 (Sept. 30, 2012). The language, included in the funding bill for the DOT (the FAA’s parent department) and other agencies, states: “None of the funds made available…may be used to implement or to continue to implement any limitation on the ability of any owner or operator of a private aircraft to obtain, upon a request to the Administrator of the [FAA], a blocking of that owner’s or operator’s aircraft registration number from any display of the [FAA’s] Aircraft Situational Display to Industry data.” Inquiries to the FAA about Barr reinstatement were referred to the DOT. At press time, the DOT had yet to respond to AIN’s inquiries into how and when the agency will restore the Barr program, though an agency spokesman did say it is “reviewing” the legislation. Also yet unknown is how the bill’s passage will affect the lawsuit that NBAA and AOPA filed against the DOT over the dismantling of Barr in August. Both NBAA and AOPA said that, as of this afternoon, court hearings in that case are scheduled to start as planned next Friday (December 2).