Speedbird555 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 41 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 15759 times:
My first post on Airliners.net after recently signing up. Hi everyone. Finally paid my dues after many hours spent looking through the forum and reading varied (albeit sometimes controversial, impatient or insensitive ) opinions about the aviation world and it's fans! I'm hooked!
Anyhow, a recent article caught my eye and I thought it was worth sharing. Here's the interesting bits:
"...plans to implement greater security measures for the City of London, Gatwick and Heathrow Airports and the skies of southern England to guard against possible terrorist attacks could be on their way. 'Behind closed doors' discussions concerning the use of Heathrow Airport by the RAF have reportedly been taking place - the proposals could see hangars once used by British Airways' Concordes being modified and upgraded to house two (or perhaps four) fully-armed Tornado F3s as part of a London and Southern England QRA detachment plan....."
"....the hangars at Heathrow are ideally placed for Tornado F3 QRA operations; the aircraft could taxi straight out to the runway at speed with no hindrance and with only minimum or no delay to the daily operations of the airport and commercial airliners either on the ground or in the air..........If the plans are to go ahead, airport perimeter security would be tightened and there would be "Zero tolerance" shown to aviation photographers and plane spotters who are seen around the perimeter fence and in the areas they currently frequent in pursuit of their hobby. Neither the RAF, British Airways nor BAA were available for comment on the speculation."
I guess it's a feasible idea but has anyone heard about this from elsewhere? How would they enforce a Zero Tolerance level of security and would it be absolutely necessary? Some European aiports I've passed through serve both commercial & military aircraft, do they have restrictions for plane spotting or is this speculation a bit over dramatic?
I would vote this if I had a vote. LOL!!! I don't know a whole lot about the laws of the land in the UK, but I know here in the states that would never fly thanks to the Constitution. But then again, our government is stupid enough to try something like this too at some point all in the name of "Homeland Security".
Caspritz78 From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 15708 times:
At Gatewick the local police works together with the spotters because spotters would notice first if someone new shows up and acts suspiciously. So I think instead of "zero Tolerance" against spotters and people who like to watch planes they should ask the people at Gatewick how to use the knowledge of these people.
Kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 13242 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 15702 times:
And where would BA carry out its line maintenance?
I really don't think the tornado aspect is feasible; it would be far better to have the aircraft based somewhere near London (as they already are), so they can get quick access to aircraft flying over London; that, to my mind, is where the real risk lies.
As to banning plane spotting, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were to try to pull something like this; facilities for enthusiasts have got worse and worse at London's airports. Of course it would fail and instead of the enthusiasts and police having a good working relationship, they would be turned against each other; sooner or later, the police would have to give up, because the enthusiasts would run them ragged and the costs would be very high, with no real benefit for security, because enthusiasts have never posed a threat to security at London airports; the only threat is from those who are not sufficiently focused on where the threat lies.
Bongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 4287 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15556 times:
Sounds like fantasy land to me.
What a nighmare of a place to try and perform any form of QRA. Ist thing would be to fight your way through the aircraft queuing for take off; then after takeoff, assuming its a real emergency, having to thread your way through slow moving airliners all manouevering due to the sudden closure of their destination airports.
Far better to start from outside London in clearer skies, and then use the aircrafts performance to rapidly close in on the target
As for eliminating plane spotters; unless the authorities are thinking of rounding up all spotters and throwing them in prison, or even shoot to kill; how would they ever acheive this ? With ever evolving technology and miniaturisation, we now have cameras so small its hard to notice them.
Plus plane spotters could be considered an aide to security, rather than a risk; as there is a good possibility they would spot the terrorist before the security forces. A group of plane spotters with their cameras, would soon notice a person with a ground to air missile standing next to them.
Newark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 27
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15421 times:
Quoting Lexy (Reply 1): I would vote this if I had a vote. LOL!!! I don't know a whole lot about the laws of the land in the UK, but I know here in the states that would never fly thanks to the Constitution. But then again, our government is stupid enough to try something like this too at some point all in the name of "Homeland Security".
What do you mean? There are several military bases/civilian airports here in the states, and photography rights can be restricted on private land.
Arsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 14957 times:
So if these "extra security measures" ever come into place, what happens to spotters in and around Hatton Cross? Last time i checked BAA and the RAF don't have jurisdiction over Hatton Cross as it's a public area.
Lexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2615 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 14723 times:
Quoting Newark777 (Reply 10): What do you mean? There are several military bases/civilian airports here in the states, and photography rights can be restricted on private land.
I am talking about NON-private lands. Anything that is owned by the government that IS NOT posted with signs expressing no tresspassing. As a avid photographer, private lands are a no-go no-brainer unless you have permission. That's just common sense.
Rivet42 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 14504 times:
For all those confused by references to April 1st, there is a long-standing tradition in UK (and no doubt elsewhere) for April Fools Day (April 1st) to be 'celebrated' by newspapers publishing completely spoof articles, and even for news tv to report 'spoof' stories. I recall a brilliant April 1st advert by BMW in one of the top papers many years ago for a right-hand drive car that had a reversible dashboard and pedal system so that it could be converted wirhin a few minutes into a left-hand drive car.
One of the most well-known spoofs was a front-page story featuring a plan by the late, great, Sir Freddie Laker to build facilities either side of the Atlantic which would reduce passengers to a fraction of their real size so that they could be 'fired' in a rocket-like pod between UK and USA.
It's astonishing what some people will believe, but generally a great deal of fun for the rest of us...