Congress Should Halt FAA Plan to Destroy the Privacy of Noncommercial Flights

More than a decade ago, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began to feed to private-sector entities a constant flow of FAA-collected flight data on aircraft operating under instrument flight rules but the FAA was careful to allow noncommercial aircraft owners and operators to protect their privacy. Such FAA respect for flight privacy helped protect personal safety, personal privacy, and sensitive commercial information. Recently, the FAA announced that it will no longer honor requests on the grounds of privacy not to make public the information about noncommercial flights. For a country that believes in limited government and individual freedom, the decision by the FAA to decide that it will make available to the public information about a private aircraft flight, whether or not the aircraft operator or owner wants the FAA to do so, should be unacceptable.

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