Chris Starnes and I were spotting (just about an hour ago) over in the tower parking lot (previously been ok for spotting)...we were there for a few arrivals but then an airport cop showed up, and told us that we could not take pictures anymore. we showed him proper ID and then after a few minutes of checking whatever he checked, he came back to us and just said "well gentlemen, don't come back"...so we left kinda disappointed, especially because while he had been talking to us a dash 8 landed they said "you know those guys that got arrested for taking pictures of the TVA damn? well, taking pictures at an airport is even worse"...but it was kinda weird, mainly because i had never had any problems with that spot before except right after 9/11 when the FAA facilities were closed off to the public. so we left, and waved goodbye to this spot that we loved...
::sighs:: another spot falls victim to the "laws" after 9/11....
I have seen a petition here on Anet for spotting at IAH and it is written very good....perhaps though!!!!!.......There should be a broader petition that would ask all airports to give us a greater consideration to us spotters.
I would not have a problem submitting to a background check if that would give me slightly more access and keep the autoritys off my back.
The problem here is that on the law enforcement side of things there is a great opportunity for them to abuse their power simply because they are wanting to exert their legal powers and for the most part many of us dont understand our rights. I was standing and parking on a County Public Road and having 20+years of pro- photo experience I know they cannot ask me to stop as the road does not fall under the Port authority they would have to ask the county to ask me to leave.
I hope that once we have addressing the UBL and Saddam situation maybe the autoritys will relax some more.
JeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3267 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5888 times:
You did the right thing by leaving when asked. Now, I recomend finding out who owns the property you were on and asking them for permission. If they agree, see if you can get it on paper. If it is public, not airport owned, then I would call the PD and ask what you were in violation of. A police officer can ask you to leave legally even if you are on a public street. You can of course refuse and be arrested, go to court, and be found innocent of any wrong-doing. But refusing to do as a policemen requests can be a crime in itself.
Jderden777 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1763 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5846 times:
see that's the thing, technically, it was on the airport property where we were at. it's the parking lot of the control tower, which i'd say is government property and they said it was. it was never really a problem in the past because people from the area used to go up there and picnic on sunday afternoons and stuff like that. there's a little lawn area that makes for great viewing right there....so we really had no grounds to contest with them as far as whose property we were on and that whether or not we had a right to be there....i guess it's just a farewell to that spot...i might try and write a letter to them explaining the situation, and asking if there's anything else that can be done...
all i have to say is i really don't think i'm going to be heading there in the near future, as i'll have "closer" access from the GA ramp ....it's not the end of the world, it just saddens me that such a great spot is no longer accessible, and i know that it's not an extremely popular airport, but it's still another "casualty" i guess you could say...
anyway, thanks for your replies, just wanted to share all this with you all to see what your thoughts were....
2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5830 times:
While I agree that you did the right thing by not arguing the point then and there I would call the department (or write...) and speak to a supervisor. There is no sense in what this officer said. Taking photos of airplanes is not against any law in the United States. (I would also love to read any statute that prohibts photography of the TVA dams...)
Officers who use this line are either being given bad information from higher up or are just making things up because you are percieved as a nusiance by someone. If you contact the police department ask for a copy of the specific law that prohibts you from photography. I would love to read it...
I don't advocate butting heads with the police...but if you are in the right, as I beleive you are here, then stand up for the right.
Speedbird244 From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5794 times:
I guess it's happening everywhere, even here in Brazil I was told to stop taking pictures in a city called Salvador, "because I was using professional equipment..," but not because of any law in particular. At least I could reason with the authorities and they thankfully let me, and will continue to let me as long as I ask permission first and as long as the pics are for my own use.
I guess if I had blown my top I would have gotten arrested or something, but since I go there often I figured not to complicate my situation by tainting my name and losing a good spotting location.
Dazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5519 posts, RR: 49
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5783 times:
Because you were using professional equipment? Has the world gone mad?? Johnathan sorry to hear about it....try spotting there again. If you have been published in anything, bring that with you from now on. If they question you, just tell them what you do and show them your work (MAYBE they'll understand).
Tu154m From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 688 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5764 times:
Go to Europe......they are civilised over there and have better facilities. If you have to stay in the US, take some pics, and then e-mail them to the airport authorities. Just keep hitting send. Then take a picture of one of the local police cars, e-mail it with a caption like "just thought you'd like to know that people are breaking the law at the airport". It may not solve anything but it sure feels nice bugging the hell out of someone for something so foolish!
Rsmith6621a From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 194 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5755 times:
What really sucks at KSEA is that 2.5 years ago they shut down a really sweet observation area that was located on the westside of the runways to begin clearing and filling land for a 3rd runway project. That was OK because you could shoot from the windows and Observation deck in the terminal then 9/11 came along bye bye to shooting thru the windows at the gates.
A year ago they started to remodel the terminal and there went the Observation deck. Unless you are a employee at the airport or have a press pass you are pretty much limited to shooting at both ends of the runway on the public roads.
There are no plans for any public observation areas for several years.
Gocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4410 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5732 times:
Jonathan, did you get the guys name and his badge number? Next time get that information then you could always call them up. Or just call airport ops and tell them you would like to get permission to take photos from the control tower parking lot, alos get the callers name and ID number just in case one do approach you and since you got clearence it is ok.
This happened to me once. I was spotting at the employee parking lot, I got permission from airport ops and later one, one lunatic cop comes up telling us to leave. I told him I got permission to be here from so and so, and well, he radioed them in and left. It's crazy.
I wouldn't stop taking photos at TRI just because some grumpy airport cop tells you to "don't come back." Why don't you come back and tell him "NOT TO COME BACK."
Gocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4410 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5538 times:
I have an idea....why don't us spotters buy a little chunk of land on public property such as a little yard or something and use that for "your own personal enjoyment." You can have your own sign saying "NO TRESSPASSING. VIOLATORS WILL BE SHOT."
2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5463 times:
"THAT INCLUDES THE POLICE, AND ANOYING LITTLE KIDS" lol
Clovis, I realise you are making a joke...but the sentiment of shooting cops is taken seriously by some, myself included. This is not the forum for such talk.
While it is a joke, there are people in the airline and security fields who read some of these posts. They are not likely to be on our side when it comes to photography when they see something like that.
USAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5435 times:
I think it might be a good idea to speak to someone higher up in either the Police Department or the Airport Authority regarding what happened to you, so you can get physical evidence that your getting kicked out was justified...
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
Clickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9823 posts, RR: 64
Reply 20, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5409 times:
Greg - The sad, but true, fact is that in the current climate law enforcement can pretty much kick your ass any time they feel the need, all in the name of "security."
If you read the Patriot Act carefully you will see that if you are "suspected" of being a terrorist, acting like a terrorist, knowing a terrorist, or doing something that a terrorist might do, you no longer have such rights as protection from illegal search and seizure, due process, etc etc. They can hold you for as long as they want without charging you with a crime. They don't even have to give you a phone call.
Nonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1326 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5385 times:
More and more airports are going "off limits" - we the hobbyists have got to do something. Just yet I don't quite know what will suffice. There must be something.
The worst problem that we are facing is that the hobby of spotting is not well known. Police officers do not know what to make of someone standing near an airport fence with binoculars and/or a camera. So, they tell the person to leave even though there is no legal grounds for doing so. The general public also is somewhat frightened by the appearance of spotters and likely has made the call to law enforcement to report the suspicious person. If more people knew what we were doing out there, this would not be a problem. I am noticing that a lot of the smaller airports are having this problem more than some of the larger ones. Of course, there are large airports such as FLL and IAH that have had a disproportionate amount of paranoia lately. What we somehow need to do is make everyone realize that this is just a hobby and is not the least bit dangerous to national security. Unless we fail to do that soon, spotting areas are going to become very scarce.
Let's face it. If it was waterskiing or beach volleyball that was being threatened with extinction, there would be a huge outcry against it. Unfortunately, we are not as numerous as these types, so it will be much more of an uphill battle to protect our hobby from becoming a victim to a knee jerk reaction to terrorism.
Cheshirecat From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (13 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5178 times:
I was going through the same problem at HNL. After I was told to leave by airport security for spotting on the general aviation side's parking lot, (great shots of the reef runway from there) I tooka trip to the airport duty manager. He told me as long as I wasn't taking pics for profit and if I called them an hour before I came, it wasn't a problem to continue shooting over there.
Just talk to the Tri-Cities Regional duty manager, if he gives you the go ahead, security can't touch you.
: Yea well, some cops are pricks. If you tell them "Well, I got permission from the duty manager." Im sure most idiotic cops would respond by "I dont ca
: Jonathan, I got this email today from the Director of Ops at ORF regarding to aviation photography. Thought you might be interested. -----------------
: Problem is that sometimes photographers and spotters are pricks too. Which puts everyone in a bad light.