Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 47 Posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2221 times:
Please post your thoughts about whether our hobby poses security risks and what types of security you have/have not encountered while spotting. Please include the location and proximity to the airport.
Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 47 Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2172 times:
There are three "prime" spotting locations around Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
The most obvious spot is the Observation Deck at the end of Concourse B. The deck includes an inside, floor-to-ceiling glass walled area which provides a relatively good view of the main runways (6-24L/R). The outside area wraps around the glassed-in area and has an excellent, full-length view of the main runways from approximately mid-field. To reach the Observation Deck you must pass through the Concourse B security check point including X-ray and metal detectors. The Observation Deck is located directly above Gates B9-11, which are Southwest Airlines gates. There is a 4-foot high metal railing around the edge of the deck but that could not prevent someone from dropping something down into the ramp area of those gates. Our security is provided by ITS Inc. and is composed of minimum-wage employees with GED-or-higher education. There is on-site policing by Airport Police but they did not, until now, maintain a particularly visible presence.
The next spotting area, which is very popular, is at the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant currently located on Brookpark Road approximately 100 yards northeast of the end of Runway 24R. You have a full length view of the runway. You are less than 1/4 mile from the approach to Runway 24L and basically underneath the approach to Runway 24R. There is no security.
The third spotting area is approximately 1/4 mile south of Runway 6R at the intersection of IX Center Drive and Grayton Road (south). Most people park in the driveways up to gates in the airport perimeter fence. Security drives by on a regular basis but usually doesn't stop. The planes approach Runway 6R less than 1/4 mile away.
I assume that access to the Observation Deck will now be restricted to ticketed passengers only. The 100th Bomb Group Restaurant site is due to be closed very soon as part of the Airport Expansion project. I do not think there are any plans to restore spotter access to a comparable site.