U.S. Congress May Block Citizens From Tracking Private Jets

U.S. Congress May Block Citizens From Tracking Private Jets

Good news may be coming for Elon Musk and other uberwealthy folks with private jets. The FAA reauthorisation bill, which was recently passed by the U.S. House, may soon block the public from learning about the flights people take on private jets, according to Axios. While it may be good news in the eyes of the rich, it’s bad news for everyone else.

The TeslaSpaceX, and X (ugh) CEO has said in the past that people having access to their flight data can pose a security risk, but Axios asserts that the information has proven to be very useful for journalists and other researchers. This sort of tracking has always been part of public record, but until online flight trackers started taking off (I’m so sorry), it was sort of a pain in the ass for most people to learn who owned private planes and where they were going.

The outlet reports that a provision deep inside the five-year FAA reauthorisation bill would require the agency to establish a process that would let jet owners request to keep their planes’ registration numbers and other information private. That’s lame as hell. The bill reportedly passed the House by a 351-69 (nice) vote in July, and now it must be reconciled with the Senate before President Biden can sign it.

The outlet reports that the FAA already has a number of options for private owners who don’t want those goddamn nosey poor people seeing what they’re up to. One of them is using LLCs and other corporate ownership structures to shield their identities.

You may remember last year when Musk threatened to sue a Twitter user for creating an account that tracked his private jet’s activities. That never really happened. However, once Musk got ownership of Twitter, he permanently suspended the account, because he isn’t a petty person at all.

It isn’t all on Musk, though. Plenty of incredibly wealthy people have their flight information blocked like Donald TrumpTaylor Swift and Kylie Jenner. The FAA has also granted over 300 temporary aircraft reservation numbers. They allow applicants to fly anonymously through a private aircraft address program.

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