There seems to be a bad taste in the public’s mouth anytime someone decides to keep something secret or private. While not condoning the behavior of Tiger Woods or the rest of his ilk (I’m talking about cheaters, not professional golfers here), I’m one of those people that believe that somethings should still be kept private. Particularly when it comes to safety and security.
Even when we were writing the book on aviation security, we knew there were things that were okay to talk about publicly, but there were also things not to include. That’s the case with the recent debate about whether corporate aircraft operators have the right to keep their trips from becoming public. Click here for the USAToday article.
In an editorial response to the article, one citizen wrote in support of making all flight plans public. Others wrote in support of privacy comparing the airways to public roads and noting that we’re not forced to tell people where we’re driving, or when or for what purpose and we shouldn’t be forced to do the same thing when we fly. I agree.
Let’s address the people who think that everything should be public. To the citizen (we’ll call you Sparky, to sort of protect your own name) who talked about how “transparency,” in the post 9/11 world, I say, put your money where your mouth is. Actually, put your personal security where your mouth is. Let’s develop a website that you will be required to update every time you leave your house. You are required to enter the time of departure, where you are going, the time of expected arrival and the duration of your time away from your house. We will name the website, “pleasecomeburlgarizemyhouse.com.”
Sound good Sparky? How’s that transparency thing working out for you now?
The fact is, it’s okay to have some secrets in this world and to keep some things private. Just because someone flies in a private aircraft, doesn’t mean they give up their Constitutional rights, simply because technology is able to track their every movement.
What is the real issue here? An irrational fear that a private aircraft will fall out of the sky on their head if they aren’t able to track it somewhere on the Internet? Hardly. This is likely more about people who don’t have private aircraft or use them, jealous of those who do. Keep in mind, despite the reporting of corporate greed and misdeeds, there are plenty of corporations out there, from small businesses to large multi-national companies, who use private aircraft to save time and money, and likely, are able to employ many more “Sparky’s” of the world, because they are not waiting at a commercial service airport for hours.