Here's one of the responses I recieved from my letter:
Thank you for your email regarding the IAH
observation areas. Despite
misinformation that is being circulated, the Houston Airport System
did not close the observation areas arbitrarily. As you know being in the aviation industry, most of what we do is by directives from the federal government. The observation areas were closed as a direct response to security concerns from the office of Homeland Security. Recently a task force made of FBI, Secret Service and TSA
officials toured and reviewed the airport perimeter and commented on their concern about opening these areas and were interested in securing other areas adjacent to the airport as well. Because these areas were restricted does not mean that legitimate air plane observers and families can not still see aircraft at IAH
. The best locations and one where the experienced world traveling spotters often come are the roofs of parking garages A/B and C. We often find these spotters there complete with chairs and ice coolers. They notify the airport of their activities and we often greet them when they arrive. We just had two groups
of international spotters from the United Kingdom at IAH
last month. There are also locations along Greens Road where persons can pull over and watch the planes take-off.
Houston is considered one of the best places to see aircraft in the
world because of the types of aircraft and the availability. Our airports still have a tour system operating so persons can see operations at the airports.
We have requested a more specific directive from the federal
government regarding the observation areas so that we can see how we can address their concerns and still provide an area for the public. We have talked about possibly reopening the locations in connection with a community watch program were persons could call if they see something suspicious. This
is still just an idea dependent on the federal government's security
I appreciate your comments. Hopefully we can work together to get
some of these areas reopened.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.