FAA to limit the sharing of aircraft data

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The Federal Aviation Administration has developed a plan to allow a real-time flight-tracking opt-out for operators that have equipped their aircraft with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast equipment, which will be required to operate in most USA airspace from January 1, 2020.

In a related move to ensure operator security and privacy, the FAA said it will establish new terms-of-service agreements with aircraft tracking service providers that will limit the sharing of aircraft data, if operators want to opt out from having their flight information broadcast over the internet. The new terms of service are expected to go into effect by the end of the year.

These new privacy and security developments were announced by the FAA during the NBAA Flight Planners Summit at the association’s recent Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, NV.

Under Phase 1 of the Privacy ICAO Address (PIA) Program, expected to start at the beginning of 2020, the FAA will set up a web portal to accept requests from operators that wish to block real-time ADS-B position and identification information for their aircraft. These operators will be issued an alternative, temporary International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aircraft address, which will not be connected to their aircraft information in the FAA Aircraft Registry.

In Phase 2, which is expected to start in mid-2020, the PIA program will be transitioned to third-party service provider(s). Only external organizations vetted by the FAA, for example, law enforcement, will be able to reverse-look-up the true identity of an aircraft. Full details about the PIA program are available here.

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said, “We’re pleased the FAA has responded positively to ADS-B privacy concerns of operators, which NBAA has raised in numerous government/industry forums, including with the NextGen Advisory Committee. Until now, the lack of a privacy solution has been a disincentive for some operators to equip with ADS-B. No one should have to surrender their privacy and security just because they board an airplane.”

To read more about what ADS-B can offer the business aviation sector, click here.

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