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Report: Some private plane flights hidden from public view

Fortune 500 companies, private real estate developers, government agencies, evangelical churches and others have turned to a program that lets private airplane owners block their flights from view in the government’s system for tracking air traffic, according to a report by ProPublica.

ProPublica went to court to obtain the rights to see the blocked tail numbers on private planes using public airports and reviewed the list to see who was in the reports.

The owners submit a request to aviation trade group, the National Business Aviation Association, which lobbied to set up the Block Aircraft Registration Request program, saying the secrecy is justified to protect business deals and the security of business executives. NBAA runs the program in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration.