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Airports & Airlines Could Learn From Railroads  
User currently offlinemsypi7185 From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 710 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3937 times:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42652702

I found this article interesting. I occasionally photograph trains, but airplanes, airports are my passion.
I have always felt that we could be an asset to the airports and the airlines, instead of being hasseled as some of us are from time to time.

Your thoughts?

Later
MD

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3797 times:

MSP has a similar program for spotters. I suspect other airports do as well.

User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3590 times:

But what really could spotters do, for aviation? I see the examples given for railroads - maybe an enthusiast might see something that needs repair, or a trespasser. The close proximity you can get makes this possible, along with the fact that there are long stretches of rail that aren't closely supervised by railway employees. But I struggle to see what might be analagous in aviation.

User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3045 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3569 times:

There's an Amtrak fan community?! They must have never ridden on Amtrak...  

User currently offlineAlasizon From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3544 times:

Quoting tharanga (Reply 2):
But what really could spotters do, for aviation?

Spotters could be very helpful in terms of monitoring airport grounds. Airport Police and TSA don't cover every single inch of the airport grounds and often times the best spotting areas are the deserted areas (well very few are really deserted, but rather less packed compared to the rest) and deserted areas would tend to be the most accessible part of an airfield.

Now granted, I don't see spotters being very effective since for most their eye is always trained more up in the air than down on the ground.



Window seats may be over-rated, but I'll take a window seat on a DC9 anyday
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 37
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3510 times:

Quoting tharanga (Reply 2):
But what really could spotters do, for aviation?

There was an intrusion incident at Sydney airport a while back that was reported by spotters - resulting in the intruder being stopped. If I'm not mistaken, one person reported it while others took photographs of the intruder!

Quoting Alasizon (Reply 4):
I don't see spotters being very effective since for most their eye is always trained more up in the air than down on the ground.

Don't be so sure about it - they are very observant. If anything is not normal, they'll spot it very quickly.

[Edited 2011-04-18 20:12:27]

User currently offlineAlasizon From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3488 times:

Quoting cpd (Reply 5):
Don't be so sure about it - they are very observant. If anything is not normal, they'll spot it very quickly.

That is true. (And I can speak from personal experience at BUR and PDX) Though I feel as if the restrictions of airfield security do limit a spotter's effectiveness. Though the busier and more popular the airport, the more potential a theoretical program would be due to the increase in spotters.



Window seats may be over-rated, but I'll take a window seat on a DC9 anyday
User currently offlinenssd70 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3439 times:

Does this mean Amtrak is going to let us take photos from station platforms again?! They have been pretty hostile at some of there stations.

Doug


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3630 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3418 times:

Quoting catiii (Reply 3):
There's an Amtrak fan community?! They must have never ridden on Amtrak...  

I haven't read the article, but yes, there is a (much-deserved) Amtrak fan community. It is absolutely amazing what Amtrak does with the pittance they receive in subsidies.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineotnysaslhr From Spain, joined May 2007, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2888 times:

I'm sure that there is or was a similar scheme at LHR......................
rgds Tony



oTny
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3045 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2628 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 8):
It is absolutely amazing what Amtrak does with the pittance they receive in subsidies.


$4.4 Billion in federal aid over three years and a per-passenger federal subsidy of $237.53 per 1,000 passenger-miles? Such a pittance. I guess what they do is almost as amazing as what the airline industry does with no subsidies in a free market.  



Edited for a spelling error.
[Edited 2011-04-19 14:27:45]


[Edited 2011-04-19 14:29:23]

User currently offlineBureaucromancer From Canada, joined Feb 2010, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2466 times:

"what the airline industry does with no subsidies"

Are you joking?

But seriously, if you don't think rail fans don't get their own share of hostility from the security types your delusional.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9535 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2234 times:

This was discussed in Trains Magazine and was subject to several editorials there. As long as you are not trespassing you can take as many pictures as you like and if police tries to stop you , ask the officer if there is any reason to suspect that you have nbroken a law. I would have to dig out the Trains issue where this editorial was but the bottom line said, that police has no right to stop you taking pictures.

BTW, I am glad to live in a country where we don't have to bother with such issues.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3045 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2014 times:

Quoting Bureaucromancer (Reply 11):
"what the airline industry does with no subsidies"

Are you joking?

I'm sorry, point to the Delta Air Lines budget line in the FY 2012 President's proposed budget. Or the one for American Airlines. Or where it says "airline subsidies." Or anything even remotely comparable to the $1.5 billion on average Amtrak gets per year. You can't. Now you can sit there and say "well, there are EAS subsidies." True, but they go to the community to use to attract business (and Congress recently voted to dramatically limit the criteria used to qualify for them). Airlines the compete contractually for them because it's free money and they are a money making venture with a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders (unlike Amtrak). AIP is funded by user fees and a ticket tax.

Meanwhile, Amtrak had 28.7 million nationwide riders in 2010, which, and someone can correct me is just over 10 million fewer passengers than went through PHX in all of 2010 or is roughly equivalent to a 4 month total for ATL in 2010. They account for less than one half of 1 percent of all interstate passenger travel, and 40% of that one half of one percent of travel occurs in the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak's load factor in 2010 averaged 47 percent, and if you look just at Acela there load factor was about 55 percent. And to do all this, Amtrak required $4.4 billion in federal funding over 2008, 2009, and 2010, or $253 per passenger.

So when the poster says that their subsidy is a pittance looking at how much they do with what they get, the facts don't support that.


User currently offlineBureaucromancer From Canada, joined Feb 2010, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1723 times:

Try comparing Amtrak to just about any form of public transit and it does remarkably well financially. Frankly, intercity buses are just about impossible to compare fairly given how much of their infrastructure costs are public. As far as the airlines go, I'll grant that they have less direct subsidy than most other transportation, but you really need to take a look at what public funds have gone into airport construction and fuel cost over the years.

Frankly at this point there has been so much public investment in all forms of transportation that pointing fingers is worthless. To say that any transportation in America is truly operating without subsidy in one form or another is laughable. The meaningful question to ask is what public expenditures make sense, and Amtrak is entirely defensible on a public policy basis. No, it isn't profitable, but what's the alternative exactly? You'll find just about every realistic option is either more costly, environmentally worse, or both.

As for the legalities of photography, that really isn't the point, any more than it is with aviation. Certain security people, as certain policy officers just don't like photography pure and simple. You can easily find railways every bit as paranoid as any airline or airport when it comes to security. As to the OP, yeah, cooperative is the way to go, I'm really just pointing out that there are more similarities than differences between all the transport related businesses at the end of the day.


User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1311 times:

Quoting catiii (Reply 13):

   Where do I start?

How many airlines built and run their own airport? How many airlines run their own ATC? Look closer at the FAA, NTSB, and Fed DOT budget and ask how much do the airport fees and ticket taxes actually cover of that amount and how much is subsidized, coming from the general fund?

Railroads paid for thier tracks, mostly with private money (some were funded by land grants which was like a fore-funner of the Essential Air Services) and then had to pay property taxes on those tracks. Many paid higher rates than adjoining property. They also had to pay for and build control systems to keep trains from running into each other.

Now Amtrak owns the tracks on the Northeast Corridor from DC to Boston and most of a line from Chicago to Detroit. They pay to maintain, dispatch and run trains on those tracks and pay property taxes on them. The rest of the lines Amtrak uses, they pay a user fee to the host railroad using a complicated formula based on incremental costs that would take too long to explain here. A simple analogy would be landing fess paid to the airport a plane uses to land.

The railroads also built those magnificent (in many cases) stations themselves without government funding. Union stations were built by consortiums owned by the various railroads that used them. Amtak today pays for the maintenence of the stations they use today, with few exceptions.

Don't get me started on the unfunded mandate for Positve Train Control. A similar measure would bankrupt the airlines (again).



Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
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