Thomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 4046 posts, RR: 26 Posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3882 times:
In the wake yesterdays failed attempt to down an Akira 757 out of Mombassa via shoulder launched missiles, I am wondering if airport parameter security will get a whole lot tougher making photography all but impossible?
This is something that I have been fearing for sometime especially since 9/11. These weapons are certainly out there and relatively easy to conceal. I fear that yesterday's action in Kenya may mark the beginning of an end of our hobby. Certainly if it happens here or even in Europe our pastime will become just that....a thing of the past.
Carlos Borda From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 538 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3797 times:
I've been wondering about this one too these last couple days Thomas... it was always possible to do, but now that someone has actually went on and made an attempt on it I really think perimeter shooting might just become one notch harder to do then it already was before. The attempted downing of the Akira 757 will start to change the scheme of things in general here in the US I think. Especially with the holidays coming up and constant threats of Al Qada planning something big...
APP From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 546 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3789 times:
To be honest Thomas, I'm surprised that this hasn't happened sooner. After September 11th I thought this would be the next step.
I know that in the US security has got tighter around perimeters, logic tells you that it is probably going to get tighter, but where will they draw the line? After all, I would imagine that if some one wanted to bring an airliner down on approach, they wouldn't need to be at the perimeter, they could be a couple of miles away, with a pretty comfortable getaway.
It's a quite worrying development. I don't know what the answer is to that, but Yes, I do expect things to become tougher for us all.
Cicadajet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3786 times:
Yes, Thomas, I have been anticipating this problem since 911 as well.
Presuming the vile savages are not able to opt for something far worse.
These weapons have a good range if I am not mistaken, and given that photographers seem to fit into acceptable "profiles" for no good reason, you'll be able to write off far more than the immediate perimeter if there is a multiple or possibly even single successful strike.
From my personal experience, I do not see perimeter security as being very good at all. It surely looks like an open invitation -- for every kind of mayhem possible...... except photography....
of course planes have been fired at many times in many places... hopefully I am entirely mistaken. In any case, the hobby will sustain in the long term...but perhaps with ever more difficult adjustments and perhaps not for all of us.
Thomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 4046 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3773 times:
Indeed, I do expect tighter security at most major airports not only in the US but Europe, Asia and Australia as well. LHR, CDG and others I am sure are very tempting targets for these pieces of trash.
I guess we will just have to test the waters over the next couple of months and pray that some airports like my beloved IAH do not go completely overboard.
Sunilgupta From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 786 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3751 times:
I feared this as well; however, if you think about it, there is no reason for a subversive with a missile to be anywhere near the airport. In fact, if they were smart they would not be near the airport… it would just be easier for them to get caught.
We can only hope that the security people realize this and work on other means to minimize the threat.
Bezoar From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 807 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3737 times:
If airport authorities were REALLY smart, they would embrace photographers and hope that more of their kind would come around, especially those with whom they were already familiar. Aviation buffs provide extra eyes that are quite discerning, and their cameras could provide documentation if events go sour. Also, the presence of spotters would scare off those with evil intent. Of course, airport security will likely argue that terrorists will bring their cameras and look like innocent folks until they haul the missiles out of their trunk, and they can't go around searching every one who's out to spot. I would think they need only be concerned with folks that are off the end of the runway, however.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
Carlos Borda From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 538 posts, RR: 50
Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3704 times:
And how ironic now that more and more everyday since 9/11 it seems like we're living in a war zone around here... constant state of alerts and terrorism warnings everyday and threats of Al Qada planning big attacks that pale in comparison to what happened on 9/11.
>>Most of the time it occurs in known war zones so it doesn't make the news<<
Photopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2851 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3691 times:
My how quickly we forget.
The American military shot down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf a few years ago with a missle. It was all over the news at the time.
Oooops..... so sorry, we thought it was a threat. It didn't squawk the correct I.F.F. code or some such nonsense according to the Americans. It was an Airbus of some variant if my memory serves me correctly.
I guess we shall all see what happens in the future.
AAGOLD From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 549 posts, RR: 49
Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3672 times:
This is a good topic for discussion as we have all felt the wrath of airport security and the police. Of course it varies from airport to airport and with each passing day, but it is threatening our hobby and certainly making it much more difficult for us to enjoy this hobby.
The most disturbing thing is that there is no way anyon can secure the safety of an airliner from a hand-held missile launch. I live about 12 miles from EWR in the approach for 22. Planes constantly pass overhead at less than 3,000 feet. Hand held missile launchers could be used from my backyard and be within acceptable range, and there is no way you can defend against that. We can only hope that their inherrent rather short range and inaccuracies make them miss as they did in Kenya. I've often thought that we, inoccents enjoying a hobby, distract the security and police from their real jobs because they are summoned when we are spotted by others to check us out. But the truth of the matter is, from what I gather from the recent news articles someone can park a car and within a matter of two or three minutes shoot at an approaching aircraft. I know from my experiences at EWR that it takes much longer than that for a police crusier to come and check us out. And, until they do something serious, like inspect every car entering an airport parking lot, there will never be any sense of true safety.
Reminds me of last summer when I worked a week at a government facility outside of Baltimore. Security officers stopped you at the gate and asked who you were there to visit. Mind you this was a building with several thousand governement employees. But they had no way of even validating that the name you gave them was a person at that facility. They inspected the car hood to boot. You had to pop the hood and let them look at the engine and open the trunk for them to see inside. They used a mirror to look at the undercarriage of the car. The procedures certainly give you the sense of security, but on the last day I had to laugh. I'd check out of my hotel and had my suitcase in the trunk. They asked me to get out of the car and open the suitcase for them to look inside. I unzipped it and opened the top lid. It was full of clothes and they just looked at it and said OK. I could have had a hundred pounds of some plastic explosive under a top layer of clothes and they would have never known. So, in reality, what good was all the extra secutiry? Not much at all.
The truth is that our society is open and based on freedom and personal rights. We have every right to expect to live our lives as we did before 9/11, but we can't forget the terrible calamity that day brought into our lives. It will, unfortunately, never be the same in our lifetime, but we have to continue to strive for our freedom and rights. I, for one, would love to come to some agreement with airport and homeland security that would allow us to enjoy our hobby and not distract those who have more important things to do. Perhaps designated areas and checkins with local authorities could be arranged, or even background security checks. But, the fact remains that there is nothing we will ever be able to do to guarantee 100% that an attack won't happen on our ground. It's unfortunate, but it's the world we live in today.
2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3600 times:
Believe it or not "real" security has been aware of the threat of shoudler launched missiles for quite some time. On the positive side, it is more difficult to get these things into the U.S./UK etc than it is in Africa. (Not saying it is not possible, just tougher to do.)
I don't think we will be forced away from taking photos, but we may need to be prepared to explain ourselves a bit more, and in a mature manner, as opposed to some who have posted previously about "forcing them to arrest me" etc... Understand that if the police do contact you they have a duty to check things out. I would hope that every cop on a contact would be professional in attitude and in the way he/she conducts business, but I know that does not always happen. Or sometimes it is not percieved as being "the right thing to do." (ie...the "why are the questioning ME!!! I am not a terrorist.".....The only way to find out if you are something is to talk to you.)
I wish that many of the people here (the mature ones) could actually go with security (real police/customs/imigration/etc....not rent a cops) and see through their eyes ehat goes on. AAGOLD comments about the security not looking through the bags in the trunk. Is it a waste of time? Perhaps...But looking in the bag is only a part of the excercise....Watching a person as that bag is opened is sometimes much more informative than what is in the bag. You were perhaps annoyed or embarrassed or frustrated or maybe just bored. What would your reactions have been had there been C-4 in the bag?
Security forces do not have all the answers. They know that airliners can be brought down miles from the airport, bui the threat areas need to be researched. Joe Blow the terrorist may be able to only just use his missile. So the easiest place for him to use it is at the perimeter. So that threat is there. But the impact would be much greater if he could take it down over an area where more damage would be done. (The approach to my airport is almost all over residential areas and businesses...) It makes you think.
As photographers and aviation buffs we need to use common sense. As citizens we need to ensure that our governments use common sense.
JBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3180 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3582 times:
Maybe I will fly jetBlue out to Denver, so I can photograph there. Newark is a mess.. JFK is alright, but the Halmar building can be a toughie sometimes.
*Cry* I HATE THE TRI STATE AREA!!!!!
Jeff- Im moving in with you!!
JK.. But seriously... I agree about the whole embracing of aviation photographers. A terrorist could easily imitate an enthusiast, just as easily as they could turn themselves into airline security and get inside airport perimeters.
Dont forget, they would be one funny looking aviation photographer if they had a bazooka launcher on their shoulder.
It comes down to common sense. Sadly, not enough people have it and we, the spotters, have to take the load.
VIR380 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2002, 628 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3574 times:
This situation does now present a very clear potential problem , in that all of us on this site could well be mistaken for "terrorists" or whatever..... ya see we all are guilty of trying our damnedest to get the "ideal spot " for that image !.. for example my local airport has a walk way which runs the entire length of a runway and not forgetting a viewing park which is not security screened , im pretty sure every airport in the world has an ideal spot for this type of threat !
What is going to happen now ? ... the way i see it going will kill our hobby full stop as there will a " no walk zone" of say 500 yards or more of any airport runway / approach / dept route .
I suppose i may be very selfish in my thoughts but it is going to ruin my hobby !
I do however understand totally the problem being faced...... It just boiles down to this : How can the security service of an airport or even the military for that matter police the whole perimeter of every airport ?
Skymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3572 times:
A few years ago, some group or other (can't remember which) launched a mortar bomb attack on terminal 4 at LHR, from a field very very close to one of the regular photographer's locations close to the end of runway 27L - the police even found the abandoned launcher in the next field to the one the photographers frequented.
Yes, the area was shut off for a few days and things were touchy, but it all returned to normal fairly quickly and it didn't really affect photography at other UK airports.
Mind you of course, we in the UK haven't gotten quite so hot-headed about this security stuff as the US has
CcrlR From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3571 times:
I've been perdicting this would happen. I thought they would use a machine gun or something besides a missle to shoot it down. I still want to go spot and I still will with some more people. Sometimes people can be so suspicious and paranoid but others are used to it and don't care like at Midway. The police can still stop us and question us but I think this hobby will never end. the love for this is too strong with some people but it will stay.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3485 times:
"Mind you of course, we in the UK haven't gotten quite so hot-headed about this security stuff as the US has "
I think this is because the UK has lived with the threat of terrorists for many years. The attack on LHR with mortars was the work of the IRA, and even though they planted bombs in all sorts of places the British public learned to live with the threat and the security it brought with it. (Police searching hand bags as people went into Harrods? Even of little old ladies....The IRA could be inventive when it came to couriers...) In the US we have not had to deal with something like this until 9-11. It will take time for us to figure out how to do security properly and for the public to accept it. (Of course learning from the Brits or Israelies would make too mcuh sense. It is fun to reinvent the wheel! arrghh)
How can the security service of an airport or even the military for that matter police the whole perimeter of every airport ?
the simple answer is they cant ! .. "
Spot on. No security, even in a totalitarian state, can provide absolute security. So you have to use common sense. Providing a designated spotting area where the public can be watched and controlled is one idea. But that can be limiting to us photographers. (I LIKE standing on top of the Queens Building and shooting arrivals....right into the sun. Musta been set up by a woman. )
As spotters, photographers, anoraks, it is incumbant upon us to promote our hobby and at the same time pay attention to security concerns. I hate the idea of spying on one another, but if I feel suspicious about the guy with the Stinger instead of a Sigma I will call someone.