USA Today ran an excellent piece today by ProPublica saying that private jet owners benefit from a special new deal with the FAA that allows them to keep secret their use of private planes.
Usually, any passenger flight, commercial or private, is listed by the FAA. Using online flight-tracking sites, anyone can identify the owner of record for any flight on any given day.
Unfortunately, the main article posted today by USA Today failed to note that its owner, the Gannett newspaper company, was one of the beneficiaries of the deal, though it does name the publishing company that owns the Albuquerque Journal and Sam Zell, the chief of the Tribune newspaper publishing company. The Gannett connection is mentioned in the sidebar, however.
Of Gannett, the ProPublica article says: "Gannett, the media company that owns USA Today, which published a version of this article in collaboration with ProPublica, has blocked its corporate jet. Company spokeswoman Robin Pence said Gannett shields its flights mostly for competitive reasons, such as when it looks at possible acquisitions and investments. Security in a post-9/11 environment also is a concern, she said."
Here's the link to the article as ProPublica, the interesting non-profit news organization, sent it out.