FAA Registry Update: Access to ancillary documents restricted to only Federal employees and contractors

December 16, 2022

The FAA Aircraft Registry recently announced, effective immediately, it is “restricting access to ancillary documents to only Federal employees and Federal contractors. Permit holders’ electronic access to ancillary documents has been restricted.” It is not clear what “ancillary documents” are no longer available in the Public Documents Room, but such documents would typically include previously filed statements in support of registration, powers of attorney, name change and merger documents, and trust documents.

The FAA confirmed it is taking this action “Because of concern about the inadvertent release of proprietary data and personally identifiable information (PII),” and that “This decision is being made after careful Legal review regarding privacy concerns under the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905) that prohibits disclosure of proprietary data, and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)) that prohibits disclosure of sensitive PII.”

The good news is the Registry has confirmed it is looking into alternate means of providing the needed information, and to support the argument that alternate means are needed sooner rather than later, efforts are being made to emphasize to the Registry the importance of making some form of these documents available as part of the closing process. The ancillary documents are primarily utilized by law firms and title companies that examine the FAA records and are not often utilized or needed by the general public. In the interim, the McAfee & Taft team would generally be able to assist with solutions such that in most cases closings will continue as normal.

McAfee & Taft, along with other local law firms and aircraft title companies, is actively communicating with the FAA regarding the PII issue and possible solutions. We will provide an update when we have more information. In the meantime, please feel free to contact the McAfee & Taft Aircraft Team with any questions.

Featured Industry