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Aviation Photography Is Not A Crime...  
User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 42
Posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4748 times:

...and it may even help to increase security at an airport, due to a lot of additional eyes (and Brains!) around the perimeters.

At least that´s my point of view.

Now, recent developments, as in France and of course the US are putting spotting or aviation photography into a different light. (if that is the correct expression for that...)

A lot of photographers here already had their "situation with the law".
I was told by my ramp agent in FCO that i couldn´t take photos of aircraft
due to terrorists (...) when i was stepping out of our Plane on duty, wearing a uniform. He had no problem with me flying the thing, though...
However, this silly example is one of the more harmless. I´ve heard far scarier stories.

This has been discussed before in different topics, but as correctly stated in the one about CDG, it´s to late to talk about it, if a "law" against photography has already been issued.

We shouldn´t just be telling old "war" Stories, i guess.

So, what we need to find is a voice to speak with, something needs to be done to convince (Airport) Authorities, Police, etc. that spotters could also be a useful ( and absolutely free) source of information about anything suspicious. We should highlight that we´re not just a disturbing factor in this whole aviation thingy.

But, to be honest, i´m not sure how this could be done. So i put this up to discussion here. Maybe someone has already done something at his/her local airport, maybe someone already tried something and succeded or failed.

I think all of us should have something to say about that
(even if it´s just: oh no not again, or: use the search function...)

Something should be done. Let´s not just sit and wait and tell our children later: well, i had a hobby once, but now it´s a crime....

Thanks for your time,

Denis


That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWakeTurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1294 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4732 times:

Interesting topic. I will say that in the U.S. if someone calls the police, airport or otherwise, they MUST investigate no matter what. I was stopped by a police officer at BUR on a weekday, walking back to my car on a busy sidewalk and street. We chatted for several minutes and he said I appeared normal and was well within my rights, but he had to stop me anyway. His suggestion was to call Airport Ops and try to get ahold of someone who works within the policing organization. He said it helps the police when they already know we are there before they pull up in a squad car.

For larger airports like LAX I really have no idea what to do. Some cops wave, some stop you, others are down right nasty. One cop stopped me and said, you can take some shots, but not too many, when I come back in 15 minutes I don't want to see you here. I thought to myself, who the hell are you and when was the sometimes rule created? I didn't want to piss him off though so I didn't say anything.

I try to put myself in their shoes and cooperate, but also state my case if I know I am right. Just my thoughts.
-Matt



Jetwash Images - Feel the Heat!!!
User currently offlineVasanthD From India, joined May 2005, 450 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4694 times:

I was once picked by the Airport police here at DFW. The officer was very polite though grabbed all my information. He did mention that if I noticed anything suspicious, call us immediately. Then while he was leaving I asked him..."Should I call 911 or a local number which directs directly to the DFW Cops?" As soon as I asked this question, he gave me smile (A smile indicating that I was fully cooperating in notifying any suspicious activities) and gave me the local number...and asked me to stay but not longer in the area.

I believe if one starts to cooperate, it builds the trust among the cop to all spotters. Coz its their job to see whos loitering around the airport and submit the report. If one does harsh / disrespectful things to a cop, the cop in turn complains about this to the Airport opns which in turn may lead to closure of spotting opportunities.

--Vas

[Edited 2006-01-18 20:36:47]


One Lucky shot deserves another!
User currently offlineThierryD From Luxembourg, joined Dec 2005, 2069 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4660 times:
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I'd say tell those guys with those questionable "laws" to go take a visit to Austria. I've been spotting in Vienna and several other Austrian airports for more than a year now and have had several encounters with policemen since they are patrolling the airport perimeter fences very regularly. But all my encounters were inoffensive; in fact all they did was ask what I was doing maybe take a short check at my bag or tell me that I parked my car somewhere where it shouldn't be (sometimes happens when I'm in a hurry   ). But they were always nice and never said something negative.

And that's the way it should be, because honestly I believe security measures should be there to protect against the 0.1% of big criminals and not to piss off the 99.9% of innocent people who just want their freedom. But sadly this is happening right now here in Europe.
To give you an example: since 1 January all flight crews (Pilots + C/As) have to undergo a full security check before boarding the plane; I ask you: for what purpose!?  
To avoid having pilots hijacking the plane and taking control of it? They already ARE in control of it!
Or to avoid having pilots take a bomb inside the plane? They are sitting IN a bomb loaded with tons and tons of kerosene!
Right now there are several of those nonsense regulations taking shape and it would be better to stop it before we all live in a damn golden cage. Because then the terrorists will have achieved their goal and you can say "bye, bye!" to the freedom that democracy should give us.

Getting back to the subject, why not encourage local authorities to work together with the spotters as they do in the U.K. I think; correct me if I'm wrong since I'll only write from memory here but I read an article some months ago and I think it was somewhere in the U.K. that policemen went into cooperation with regular airport spotters to help them detect any irregularities going on at the specific airport.   
This measure is great for both sides: the spotters can follow their hobby without always being on the lookout for the 'evil' policemen who will chase them away and the police can lay their head in rest some with the knowledge that their are attentive people out there who will alert them should anything be wrong.

So far as to my thought on that subject. Let's hope that Paris did not set an example that others will follow, because that can not be the right path to follow!

Thierry

[Edited 2006-01-18 21:04:29]

[Edited 2006-01-18 21:05:59]


"Go ahead...make my day"
User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 42
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4645 times:

Quoting ThierryD (Reply 3):
To give you an example: since 1 January all flight crews (Pilots + C/As) have to undergo a full security check before boarding the plane; I ask you: for what purpose!?
To avoid having pilots hijacking the plane and taking control of it? They already ARE in control of it!
Or to avoid having pilots take a bomb inside the plane? They are sitting IN a bomb loaded with tons and tons of kerosene!

Amen!

A lot of senior LH Captains are having problems with their golf equipment now...
they are not allowed to carry it, even if it´s not carry on, but goes into the cargo compartment...
anyway, that´s a bit off-topic.

Quoting ThierryD (Reply 3):
policemen went into cooperation with regular airport spotters to help them detect any irregularities going on at the specific airport.

Someone here probably knows all about this,right?

Denis



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineVasanthD From India, joined May 2005, 450 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4630 times:

Quoting ThierryD (Reply 3):
To avoid having pilots hijacking the plane and taking control of it?

What if only 1 pilot wants hijack? He/she can attack the other innocent pilot.
--Vas

[Edited 2006-01-18 21:45:36]


One Lucky shot deserves another!
User currently offlineBlackhawk144 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4609 times:

I'm only 14 and I've had my law sotry at Boise, Idaho! It's ridiculous!

It's nothing huge, but a cop saw me, looked through my photos, tried asking a lot of information about me, and told me to delete them all.

Anthony


User currently offlineThierryD From Luxembourg, joined Dec 2005, 2069 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4577 times:
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Quoting VasanthD (Reply 5):
What if only 1 pilot wants hijack? He/she can attack the other innocent pilot

There's a crash axe in the cockpit for emergency purposes; you grab it hit the other one hard and the plane is yours!!!  crackup 

Thierry



"Go ahead...make my day"
User currently offlineDC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4559 times:

Quoting Beechcraft (Thread starter):
So, what we need to find is a voice to speak with, something needs to be done to convince (Airport) Authorities, Police, etc. that spotters could also be a useful ( and absolutely free) source of information about anything suspicious.

Though I agree 100%, the problem is Denis that it somehow scares airport authorities, the thought of having people loitering around the perimeter fence. The only rational explanation that I can put to this is that they don't want the public at large to be aware of enthusiasts hanging around as it might scare them into thinking the airport is unsafe somehow. The same applies for 8ft fences around airports with razor wire along the top. Why? Has it not occurred to them that with a pair of bolt-cutters, if I was so inclined, I could be through the fence and running down the taxiway, before anyone even knew I was there. As I'm sure I've said before, it is all a big smokescreen to con an post 9/11 public (on both sides of the Atlantic) into thinking that they are safe.

Quoting ThierryD (Reply 3):
Getting back to the subject, why not encourage local authorities to work together with the spotters as they do in the U.K. I think; correct me if I'm wrong since I'll only write from memory here but I read an article some months ago and I think it was somewhere in the U.K. that policemen went into cooperation with regular airport spotters to help them detect any irregularities going on at the specific airport.

That would be MAN. Not only is it one of the few main airports in the world where you can get practically within spitting distance of the action, but the airport and police are very positive in their attitude towards enthusiasts too. Does this make it any less safe? I doubt it.

MAN is unique however, and not all UK airports afford the same facilities or tolerance. You'd have to do something pretty serious to get arrested or anything like that over here and you'd never be asked to delete any photos taken at an airport. By and large it's just a matter of common sense.

Tim.



Obviously missing something....
User currently offlineAPFPilot1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4550 times:

Quoting Blackhawk144 (Reply 6):
told me to delete them all.

thats when you tell them to get a warrant, you are under NO obligation to comply with an order like that. Nor do you have to give up your Film/ Memory. I had a run in with the law today at RSW. We have a new terminal here and I wanted to try some spotting from new locations, as the old designated area is crap now and the light sucks unless it is early evening. So my first step is to try and call the Port Authority Police, look up their number and call.... it is out of service. So next I park my car and go in the terminal and find a PA cop and ask him what the rules were. He was very helpful and said that as far as he knew nothing had been established at the new facilities so I could shoot where I wished. So I set up shop on a new road right by the approach end of the runway and was happily shooting when the PAPD rolled up. He asked me who I was with and I explained what I was doing. He checked my Info, and then said, "Sorry, but you can't shoot here" Apparently someone had called me in and as they didn't want to deal with people being nervous they said I have to shoot from the old spot. Kind of a bummer, but the PD at RSW is as nice as they Come.


User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4541 times:

Quoting ThierryD (Reply 3):
To give you an example: since 1 January all flight crews (Pilots + C/As) have to undergo a full security check before boarding the plane; I ask you: for what purpose!?

So this never happens again.


User currently offlineThierryD From Luxembourg, joined Dec 2005, 2069 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4498 times:
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Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 10):
So this never happens again.

Oh yeah, I forgot all those nasty airline employees about to be fired and therefore hijacking an airplane  Yeah sure ... come on please!!

Thierry



"Go ahead...make my day"
User currently offlineZoomer From Netherlands, joined Dec 2000, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4484 times:

By banning spotters/photographers airport authorities are not making their airports any safer. They're simply pi$$ing off a lot of innocent people partaking in an innocent hobby. Many of these people are aviation professionals. I think the root cause is that much of cops' or airport security's time is taken checking out reports from ignorant members of the public calling in "suspicious behaviour". ATTENTION AIRPORT SECURITY MANAGERS: the solution is to be INTELLIGENT and provide good designated public viewing/photography areas which are easier to monitor/control and will not alarm the paranoid non-aviation minded public. Driving enthusiasts away from the immediate airport area will not, I repeat, NOT solve your problems. It will in fact expand them.

User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4477 times:

I personally don't mind the ploce doing their job as long as thay use their brains and don't spin stories etc.

As an example, in November last year when Donald Rumsfeld visited Adelaide I was there to see his plane land and sure the security was tight and I was checked out, but the police were friendly and had no problem with me being there.

The officer that came to check me, we had a chat for 10 mins (all very friendly). So he asked if I could email some pics of the plane to him.

He knew I was there to photograph the plane and not cause problems.

Sure in comparison Adelaide is a samll airport compared to the big US and European airports.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlinePadraighaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4438 times:

Well, I think a large part of the problem is that we are living in a world where deliberate cultivation of paranoia and distrust is seen as being beneficial to some politicians who don't want the voter to calmly reflect on how their leadership has been failing them miserably. It's sad, but negative emotions like this tend to suck the oxygen out of any rational conversation, and that's just the way it is. It's not just aviation and terrorism, it's also silly chicken-little issues like "drug testing for firemen" and all kinds of intrusiveness where the notion of being innocent until proven guilty is thrown out in the name of public safety.

Until the mood of the public changes, it's going to be a very difficult uphill fight to reason with people about the legitimacy of aviation photography. Here in the U.S. they have been stirring the pot again about Iran; with mid-term elections coming up later this year, I expect them to resurrect the color-threat-code of the day nonsense that they used extensively before the last election, that somehow didn't seem quite so important after the neo-cons won.


User currently offlineDC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4425 times:

Quoting APFPilot1985 (Reply 9):
thats when you tell them to get a warrant, you are under NO obligation to comply with an order like that. Nor do you have to give up your Film/ Memory.

This saddens me somewhat really. Obviously there are some great locations for photographing aircraft in America, but I generally regard it as being risky these days, but I wonder how much of that is because of actual legislation and how much is a result of local police departments getting over-excited and acting beyond their remit in the hope they can steal the limelight in preventing the next 9/11?

Quoting Zoomer (Reply 12):
By banning spotters/photographers airport authorities are not making their airports any safer. They're simply pi$$ing off a lot of innocent people partaking in an innocent hobby.

Agreed. And if airports were to realize to potential revenue earnings to be made from, not only enthusiasts, but the public at large, perhaps their attitude would differ. The Aviation Viewing Park at MAN is the 6th biggest tourist attraction in North-Western England. That's some fete when you consider the competition (I wont list it). Why can't other airports accept that the public enjoy watching aircraft?

Quoting Zoomer (Reply 12):
Driving enthusiasts away from the immediate airport area will not, I repeat, NOT solve your problems. It will in fact expand them.

I agree again. When I see signs at airports saying "No public access beyond this point" I wonder to myself if a terrorist would take no of such a warning.

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 13):
As an example, in November last year when Donald Rumsfeld visited Adelaide I was there to see his plane land and sure the security was tight and I was checked out, but the police were friendly and had no problem with me being there.

In June last year the G8 Justice Minister's meeting took place in Sheffield, just down the road from me and I was at DSA to see all of the bizjets coming in for it. Security was immense, but not an ounce of trouble for the enthusiasts who'd turned out to watch. The US delegation came in a very nice (civil regd.) Gulfstream, which I haven't uploaded yet. I did get this shot though of the Italian delegation arriving, and another that day with marksmen on the terminal roof.



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tim Goodwin




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tim Goodwin



Regards,

Tim.



Obviously missing something....
User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4393 times:

Quoting Beechcraft (Thread starter):
something needs to be done to convince (Airport) Authorities, Police, etc. that spotters could also be a useful ( and absolutely free) source of information about anything suspicious.

What is to stop a would be terrorist from walking around posing as a spotter? A camera and lens doesn't make you pure as new fallen snow. Either does any background check, or I.D. card.

Simply put, it is more effective for authorities to enforce the "keep out" signs, then to try and "work" with "unkown entities" and or manage some type of security badge situaltion.


User currently offlinePaulinbna From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4347 times:
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In my experience with this when you get hassled. Write emails, letters and every thing you can. Start off by being nice in phone calls then if that does not work send some letters to every one involved. Most of the times a phone call is all that is needed.

Worked here at BNA and at MEM.



Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro
User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4345 times:

Speaking about the U.S., there is not a federal law, regulation, order, whatever that prohibits people from taking pictures of aircraft. When cops throw that out and/or the infamous "because of/since Sept. 11th" you know that they don't have a legitimate reason for hassling you but it is better to just leave. Arguing with them will give them a reason to detain you.

That said, remember that certain local jurisdictions have passed laws or ordinances that prohibit it. (If you're caught at my local airport taking pictures on airport property, expect to be detained.) Be sure you know the local laws when spotting, especially if you haven't been to the area before.



"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days ago) and read 4339 times:

Quoting Beechcraft (Thread starter):
I was told by my ramp agent in FCO that i couldn´t take photos of aircraft
due to terrorists (...) when i was stepping out of our Plane on duty, wearing a uniform. He had no problem with me flying the thing, though...

So you were the for business purposes? You were therefore doing a job there?
Most companies prohibit photography by staff or visitors on their premises without explicit permission.
Not only does it prevent corporate espionage, it also means less peopel cluttering the place who are not doing their job.
And of course at a business terminal they'd get visitors who want their privacy, and don't want a crowd of papparazi with PPLs flying in just to get airside where they can shoot Paris Hilton boarding her business jet.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineSpeedbirdEGJJ From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 429 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4313 times:

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 19):
So you were the for business purposes? You were therefore doing a job there?

Denis Is a Lufty CRJ pilot


User currently offlineDC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4281 times:

Quoting JeffM (Reply 16):
Simply put, it is more effective for authorities to enforce the "keep out" signs, then to try and "work" with "unkown entities" and or manage some type of security badge situaltion.

Jeff, off the top of your head, how long is the perimeter length in its entirety at DEN? I'm guessing it's going to be several miles. Do you honestly think that it can be policed effectively throughout?

I'm sure, that as at every airport, there is ample opportunity for a terrorist to permeate the fence should they so wish. Not that they would even need to. What is to stop a suicide bomber, for example, just walking into the terminal, joining a check-in queue and BANG 50 people dead?

I'm not an advocate of a badge scheme as it happens. It seems pointless and unworkable. Is it going to deter non-badgeholders from visiting airports? It really does seem a good way of wasting police time.

Tim.



Obviously missing something....
User currently offlineThierryD From Luxembourg, joined Dec 2005, 2069 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4265 times:
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Quoting JeffM (Reply 16):
What is to stop a would be terrorist from walking around posing as a spotter? A camera and lens doesn't make you pure as new fallen snow. Either does any background check, or I.D. card.

The question should always be: "Do the security measures make the place any safer and are they in any relation to the threat we want to counteract?"

The answer to many of the already implemented regulations is a clear "NO!"
Jeff, you don't really believe that terrorists would walk around disguised as spotters!? If they want to plant a bomb somewhere in the intention to kill as many people as possible,let's face it, there is NO way to stop them (see London bombings). But to completely seal off a place just because there might maybe be a bombing somewhere, sometime won't be the solution to the problem. You would have to control, patrol and follow any suspicion at any place where there are masses of people and this is first of all not possible and even if it was this would again bring us to the golden cage. I don't know about you but I'm not willing to live in a cage, by NO means!  boxedin 

Thierry



"Go ahead...make my day"
User currently offlineLHRSIMON From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2002, 1343 posts, RR: 22
Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4264 times:

Just reading the above... And just wanted ask the following.

In which countries is taking photo's of aircraft or spotting with binoculars a criminal offence.....

Thx
Simon C  Smile



Canon 1D Mk III,Canon 20D+17-40 L f4.0,70-200 L IS USM f2.8,400 L USM f5.6,135 mm L f2.0, 50 mm f1.8,1.4 x II extender
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4256 times:

Quoting SpeedbirdEGJJ (Reply 20):
Denis Is a Lufty CRJ pilot

So he WAS there on his boss' time. What are LH policies towards staff using/carrying cameras on the ramp (or on the job, period)?
If they're like many other companies it's not allowed unless for an authorised shoot (for example I sometimes take pictures for the company newsletter).



I wish I were flying
25 JeffM : What is accessible by car (paved and un-paved) is about 30 miles around the fenceline. But the airport property outside the fence is much, much more
26 DC10Tim : How long would it be then, if I (or anyone else) pulled up along the perimeter fence, before I was approached by security or the police? Unless Denve
27 Post contains images ThierryD : My words!! ...they don't stop any criminals but only upset the other 99.9% of the people, ergo --> useless! Thierry
28 Beechcraft : Once again, Amen. I fail to get your point here. Wether i was allowed to carry a camera or not, company wise, just didn´t matter in that case. And i
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