wedgetail737
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LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:05 pm

Hello, everyone!

Does anyone know if the LAX Observation Deck as reopened to the public yet? It has been closed since 9/11/2001.
 
N1120A
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:26 pm

Like you said, it has been closed since 9/11 and the paranoid US government hasn't allowed it to reopen, even with an x-ray and body scan
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JetMaster
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:32 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):
Like you said, it has been closed since 9/11 and the paranoid US government hasn't allowed it to reopen, even with an x-ray and body scan

Right, the measures are the opposite of being logic or consequent, what a shame to lose such a great spot for a joke of a reason.


Regards,
JM
The Journey is my Destination
 
Adam T.
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:50 pm

Are you talking about the one above Encounter? Yeah, it was still closed when I was there in June of this year. Man, I was so pissed when I went and had a martini at Encounter before my flight to AKL and started leaving to go up to the observation deck. When I asked a server how to get up there she said "It's been closed since 2001".......sigh, had to waste my time lounging around Tom Bradley instead.

Adam
 
ba319-131
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:00 pm

It is such a shame it's still closed, and for no real reason apart from paranoia.

All they need to do is add an x-ray machine and have a bag search and no problem, ok they would have to charge an entry fee to help cover the costs but I think 99% of people, especially spotters, would have no problem with that at all, I know i'd be happy for fork out a few $$ to spend a day spotting from there.
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Kohflot
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:56 pm

Why would they need to add an x-ray machine?
Ask why..
 
ba319-131
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:18 pm

To check for gun's 'n' stuff just incase some nutter decided to start shooting planes from the Theme building - most unlikely IMHO.
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wedgetail737
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:38 pm

I was just curious since it seemed like some of the recent pictures taken at LAX looked like it was from the Observation Deck, unless there is an a.netter that works in the LAX tower.
 
N1120A
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:47 pm

Quoting Adam T. (Reply 3):
When I asked a server how to get up there she said "It's been closed since 2001".......sigh, had to waste my time lounging around Tom Bradley instead.

Try the T3 parking structure

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 7):
I was just curious since it seemed like some of the recent pictures taken at LAX looked like it was from the Observation Deck, unless there is an a.netter that works in the LAX tower

Most likely taken from the T3 parking structure roof, a very popular place for spotters
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wedgetail737
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:52 pm

Do you know if spotters are having police or security problems taking pictures in the parking structure? I know I had police officers pull me aside in the TB terminal in the past.
 
N1120A
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:07 pm

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 9):
Do you know if spotters are having police or security problems taking pictures in the parking structure?

The Los Angeles Airport Police and the LAPD are very familiar with spotters, as LAX is one of the most spotter heavy in the world, given its urban location. I have never had a problem with the police at T3 and have been there many times. The biggest problem anyone usually ever has is some snot nosed, 21 year old El Al security guard coming up on the roof while LY is at the gate and acting like they have some sort of power. One has to keep in mind, however, that they are armed. It is usually easy to get them to bug off by just engaging in polite conversation and letting them know you are not intimidated

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 9):
I know I had police officers pull me aside in the TB terminal in the past.

Really? That is surprising
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modesto2
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:58 pm

I've spotted at LAX on numerous occassions and never had problems with the police. Just be polite and courteous...they understand.
 
JetMaster
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:08 am

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 9):
Do you know if spotters are having police or security problems taking pictures in the parking structure? I know I had police officers pull me aside in the TB terminal in the past.

I was once sent off by an officer at the parking structure, though I didn't take pictures but did some registration spotting only. He said I should not stay on airport ground for my hobby but move over to places outside. I just went back two days later and unfortunately the same officer showed up again. First he didn't look amused but he asked whether I take picture. I denied and then he said it was ok to stay - "but make sure the tower can't see you", he added.

As usual, it's not the police which actively search for and send spotters off - it's mostly paranoid people who park their cars and think they have just identified a terrorist carrying dangerous weapons such as binoculars. Then they call the police and the game is over.


Regards,
JM
The Journey is my Destination
 
N1120A
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:14 am

Quoting JetMaster (Reply 12):
"but make sure the tower can't see you",

I am surprised here. ATC usually doesn't give a damn about spotters

Quoting JetMaster (Reply 12):
it's mostly paranoid people who park their cars and think they have just identified a terrorist carrying dangerous weapons such as binoculars.

 rotfl  rotfl 
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
JetMaster
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:32 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 13):
I am surprised here. ATC usually doesn't give a damn about spotters

Yeah, I was surprised too. Apparently someone from "up there" called the cops on that day. You never now, paranoia is everywhere.


Regards,
JM
The Journey is my Destination
 
777STL
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:36 am

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4):
All they need to do is add an x-ray machine and have a bag search and no problem, ok they would have to charge an entry fee to help cover the costs but I think 99% of people, especially spotters, would have no problem with that at all, I know i'd be happy for fork out a few $$ to spend a day spotting from there.

I'm sure the government would be more than happy to equip and man a security checkpoint solely for spotters to be able to go up on top of Encounter.

Hah.
PHX based
 
kappel
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:43 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 15):
I'm sure the government would be more than happy to equip and man a security checkpoint solely for spotters to be able to go up on top of Encounter.

But what's the point. If someone wanted to shoot at the planes, I'm sure he can find plenty of other spots to do that. Besides, hardly any airport around the world have security checks for the observation deck. I know AMS doesn't have one, and a couple of other airports I've been to. So IF the security check at LAX would deter a would-be terrorist, there are plenty of other airports to go to.
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JetMaster
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:46 am

Quoting Kappel (Reply 16):
But what's the point. If someone wanted to shoot at the planes, I'm sure he can find plenty of other spots to do that.

Exactly. Terrorists could just fire their stingers or whatever from the fence at IN'N'OUT. There they would be even closer to the planes than on the observation deck.


Regards,
JM
The Journey is my Destination
 
N1120A
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:11 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 15):
I'm sure the government would be more than happy to equip and man a security checkpoint solely for spotters to be able to go up on top of Encounter.

Hah.

LAWA could charge $5 for a day pass and make money on it

Quoting Kappel (Reply 16):
Besides, hardly any airport around the world have security checks for the observation deck.

FRA did

Quoting JetMaster (Reply 17):
Exactly. Terrorists could just fire their stingers or whatever from the fence at IN'N'OUT. There they would be even closer to the planes than on the observation deck.

Or the Proud Bird, or the 405, or Dockweiler State Beach, etc. People need to get over it
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southpaw8669
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:26 am

During Airliners international in July of 04, they opened the observation deck for a few hours. However the observation deck is surrounded by pleksiglass and it was so dirty because it had not been cleaned in 4 years. So picture taking was not the best.


Eric
@southpawcapture
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:56 am

Quite a few U.S. airports had really good observation decks (MSY and old ATL come to mind) back in the day, but those disappeared LONG before 9/11. Unfortunately, the U.S. gov't takes a "lowest common denominator" approach to law enforcement.

Instead of screening (and possibly charging an admission fee) and letting approved people get close to the action, they decide just to shut EVERYBODY out. Real smart.
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wedgetail737
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:20 am

Ironically enough, the last time I was stopped by the police at TB terminal was during the International Airliners convention in 2004. The cop asked me if I had authority to take pictures. I rebutted by mentioning that I didn't know you couldn't take pictures at LAX in the first place and that I've been taking airplane pictures there for years.
 
Matt D
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:25 am

You asked for it. I've seen it said time and time again on this site: that most of you would gladly trade convenience for "safety". Most of the public doesn't care about the obs deck. The government also knows that not only is actual safety important, but even MORE important is the PERCEPTION of safety. The public figures that the harder and more "strict" security is, the better it must be. Hence the pointless closures.
 
kappel
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:37 am

Quoting Matt D (Reply 22):
Most of the public doesn't care about the obs deck

I disagree. At AMS I frequently see people come up there who were dropping off relatives, or who have to wait for a connection or were just early at check-in and for them too it is a fun way to kill some time. I don't know about the US, but that is my observation here.
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wedgetail737
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:40 am

I disagree also. SJC has (or had) an observation deck at terminal 1 and a lot people used to watch their friends and loved ones depart.
 
psa188
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:48 am

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 24):
I disagree also. SJC has (or had) an observation deck at terminal 1 and a lot people used to watch their friends and loved ones depart.

The SJC deck is still open, and you can take photographs there with no hassle. The deck is at "Terminal C" just before the security checkpoint on the south concourse. Photography is best on summer mornings. The way the sun is now, you're starting to push it till spring.

Naturally, SJC is planning to replace T-C with a brand new terminal any year now.
 
Matt D
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:51 am

Don't misunderstand me. I think that "ticketed passengers only" and closing the obs deck is complete and utter 24 karat bullshit that, other than image and appearance, contributes absolutely zero towards a safer airline environment just the same as you do.

It was these rules that reek of politics and spoiled baby "business" travellers who think they have a God Ordained right to have the whole airport to themselves that killed off my hobby, which frequently involved spotting and picture taking in the gate areas.

What I'm trying to point out is how the situation appears from the eyes of the government and MOST (but not all) of your typical Joe Schmo traveller.
 
N1120A
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:01 am

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 20):
Quite a few U.S. airports had really good observation decks (MSY and old ATL come to mind) back in the day, but those disappeared LONG before 9/11.

It was actually still quite easy to spot at MSY before Katrina as well. The Parking structure was right there.
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GSPSPOT
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:02 am

It certainly wouldn't hurt if airports would provide appropriate measures to satisfy the "public", and in the bargain, make a little $$ on admission fees, etc.
BEFORE 9/11, FRA had armed security circulating quite visibly in the viewing deck area as a deterrent to any unwise acts.
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AirWillie6475
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:28 am

I had no idea that LAX had an observation deck. But I am going to say to any LAX official that the spotter regulation is ridiculous at LAX. Are we going to Man every security point around LAX, are we going to check everyone possesing a camera? If someone wanted to shoot planes at LAX they would have already easily done it. With todays internet a terrorist doesn't have to actually be there present to take pictures of a terminal, they could just look it up online. Please let us enjoy our hobby. I just want to see a 747 takeoff that's all.
 
AirWillie6475
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:33 am

Besides, if a terroist was acutaly to shoot the planes or use a weapon, do you think that he would actually go to the observiation place where there a few dozen people? He would be tackled by all of those people before he had the chance to load his weapon.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:55 am

That's what I'm talking about when I say "lowest common denominator" - just keep EVERYBODY out, so you don't have to do anything else. Don't even TRY to differentiate between people who pose a threat & those who don't...
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777STL
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:21 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
LAWA could charge $5 for a day pass and make money on it

You're kidding right?

Who besides the die-hard airplane geeks are going to pay money to watch airplanes? Especially on top of the Encounter which is a bit of a pain in the ass to get to IMO.
PHX based
 
KA501
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:14 pm

Can visitors still eat in the staff Canteen at the bottom of the theme building? Used to be fantastic and good value!
Going back 5-6 years.
 
N1120A
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 1:16 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 32):
Especially on top of the Encounter which is a bit of a pain in the ass to get to IMO.

How so? It is a 5-10 minute walk from anywhere in the airport

Quoting KA501 (Reply 33):
Can visitors still eat in the staff Canteen at the bottom of the theme building? Used to be fantastic and good value!
Going back 5-6 years.

No clue it even existed. Encounter is definatly not fantastic or a good value

Quoting 777STL (Reply 32):
You're kidding right?

Who besides the die-hard airplane geeks are going to pay money to watch airplanes?

Lots on people pay the 1-2 Euro charge for the FRA deck
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FutureFO
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 7:48 am

Actually they will chase you off if you are at the ProudBird.


Sean from IND and MCO
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Silver1SWA
Crew
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:02 am

I was once taking pictures of WN planes at terminal one and a HP CSA approached my friend and I and asked if we were taking pictures of the planes. We said, "uhhh, yeah". She said you can't take pictures of the airplanes. We simply told her we were WN employees and she immediately became apologetic and let us continue what we were doing.

I was at LAX on Wednesday. There were some great opportunities for pics, but I was too afraid. Haha. I flew AAeagle...does Anyone know if they have issues with taking pics from the shuttle to/from the main terminal? That shuttle drives on the ramp real close to the planes. Man, I'd have loved to grab some shots as we passed under the tail of a 747. LOL Oh well, next time.

I just try to avoid conflict and usually assume it's not allowed in certain places.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Adam T.
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:16 am

Quoting Kappel (Reply 23):
I don't know about the US, but that is my observation here.

While not exactly an observation deck perse, there was an observation park just off the airport at CLT that is VERY popular with families and spotters alike.
 
Adam T.
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:23 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
Encounter is definatly not fantastic or a good value

Tell me about it....10 dollars for a martini during happy hour.  sarcastic 
 
N1120A
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:25 am

Quoting FutureFO (Reply 35):
Actually they will chase you off if you are at the ProudBird.

I haven't been. Besides, The Proud Bird is private property

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 36):
She said you can't take pictures of the airplanes.

She was FOS

Quoting Adam T. (Reply 38):

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
Encounter is definatly not fantastic or a good value

Tell me about it....10 dollars for a martini during happy hour.

Heh, try buying food.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Adam T.
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:09 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Quoting Adam T. (Reply 38):

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
Encounter is definatly not fantastic or a good value

Tell me about it....10 dollars for a martini during happy hour.

Heh, try buying food.

I almost did but figured they'd feed me on the Qantas flight...which ended up being pretty good and plus I had already paid for it (with the ticket).

You can't beat though looking out at planes landing and taking off while having a drink  Smile The views are what draws people to Encounter.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:29 am

Point of clarification regarding the old MSY observation deck: it was closed prior to my arrival at the airport in 1987. At the time, the area was being used as a temporary airport administration office area while our permanent offices were being renovated. The area was eventually converted into our FIDS server room. I'm not so sure we would have been as paranoid about the security of that place as the TSA and LAWA is about LAX's.

BTW, the view from the MSY ex-observation deck is as good as it always was. I've been up there a lot since Katrina.

BTW #2, I've never been hasselled at the Proud Bird lot at LAX.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
MarshalN
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RE: LAX Observation Deck

Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:39 am

Quoting Matt D (Reply 26):
Don't misunderstand me. I think that "ticketed passengers only" and closing the obs deck is complete and utter 24 karat bullshit that, other than image and appearance, contributes absolutely zero towards a safer airline environment just the same as you do.

I think the ticketed passengers only makes sense. Most airports in the world have that policy, and in this day and age with additional screening and such, it's just not realistic to let random people come in. I mean, it's great to be able to greet your friend and relatives at the gate, but at the same time, it's a lot of extra hassle for the security people. When lines are already long, it's not really realistic. Also... non-ticketed pax are much harder to account for.

That said... closing observation decks are just stupid. Like other people have mentioned, there are a gazillion different ways of damaging planes. Observation decks usually isn't the best spot.

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