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Home > Privacy and Government > Government Threats to Privacy > Public Records > Government Databases > Aviation Databases


Aviation Databases

Several databases maintained by the federal government allow individuals involved in aviation to be searched out, and they reveal information about these people. Though undoubtedly these databases have legitimate and helpful uses, they remain threats to the privacy of people listed in them. This illustrates that privacy should be balanced against other values, such as public safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration maintains a database of more than 668,000 certified U.S. pilots by name, city, state, and zip code. This includes data about certificates, ratings, and pilots' medical status. On the FAA's aircraft database, "N-numbers," which are required to be displayed on airplanes' tails, can be searched to reveal the names of their owners. The FAA maintains similar databases of airline mechanics and aviation medical examiners.


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[updated 04/17/02]



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