NetJets sees fractional ownership as privacy option in face of ADS-B mandate

Warren Buffett is weighing in on how NetJets can help private jet owners maintain privacy for important missions

In a recent posting on its online newsletter, NetJets is highlighting that private jet owners who need privacy can use fractional ownership, leases and jet cards for supplemental lift when they need to maintain secrecy for their missions.

 “I should point out that anybody out there who wants to do business with us, that if they take a [NetJets] plane nobody will be able to track them. … And if you use a company plane, it’s a big way of running a billboard that I’m in town for something,” said Warren Buffett, Chairman and Chief Executive, Berkshire Hathaway, parent of NetJets.

 “I should point out that anybody out there who wants to do business with us, that if they take a [NetJets] plane nobody will be able to track them. … And if you use a company plane, it’s a big way of running a billboard that I’m in town for something,”

– Warren Buffett, Chairman and Chief Executive, Berkshire Hathaway, parent of NetJets.

ADS-B mandate

While the ADS-B mandate, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 will improve safety and efficiencies, especially in highly congested areas, such as New York, Chicago, and Southern California, NetJets notes it will impact aircraft owners ability to hide the movements of their airplanes.

NetJets

In its newsletter, the company explains, “Prior to ADS-B, the public could go on FlightAware or a number of other sites to track flight plans. Online exchanges even existed to crowdsource and share data. Because this put the safety and privacy of individuals and businesses at risk, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) felt it was necessary to offer aircraft owners/operators an added level of protection. The FAA-administered program called Aircraft Situation Display to Industry (ASDI) offered companies a way to opt-out of having their ASDI flight information listed on the internet. With ADS-B, however, all aircraft—even those previously protected by ASDI blocking—can be tracked.”

As of next year, the curtain will be drawn back. NetJets says, “National Business Aviation Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association are advocating for an effective solution, nothing appears to be happening to improve matters in the near future.”

No more privacy for private jet owners

It notes in this new world, your flight “can be tracked by anyone via a signal receiver that can be purchased on Amazon for less than $100. To make matters worse, crowdsourcing websites like Virtual Radar Server, OpenSky Explorer, AirNav RadarBox, or ADS-B Exchange use web crawling techniques to link the aircraft squawk code to the tail number, owner/operator, etc. Leveraging this publicly available information means that every second of every day, the world now knows who is flying where.”

For companies that are negotiating mergers and acquisitions or visiting sites for potential office or plant locations, as of next year, your competitors can be tracking every move. As the information is in real-time, it also presents security concerns in addition to industrial spying.

NetJets reports increased interest with ADS-B looming

NetJets reports, “Because of this new mandate, we have witnessed a heightened interest in shared ownership—as either a supplement or a replacement to an individual or business’ current solution.”

It also notes, “With our signature share program, our owners not only receive the same tax benefits and guaranteed availability they need but also enjoy the peace of mind that accompanies full anonymity.”

NetJets offers jet cards starting at 25 hours for short-term solutions, while leases and fractional ownership start at 50 hours per year for a minimum of 36 months. Share programs allow for reservations lead time as little as four to six-hour prior to departure.

You can read more about NetJets here, and get an overview of NetJets by the numbers here. To find out if fractional ownership, jet cards or on-demand charter is the best solution for you by subscribing to Private Jet Card Comparisons.

About the Author Doug Gollan

I am Founder and Editor of Private Jet Card Comparisons, the only independent buyer's guide to jet card membership programs, and DG Amazing Experiences, a weekly luxury travel e-newsletter for private jet owners. I am also a contributor to Forbes.com
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