Topic Author
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 1999 11:18 am

Photography In China

Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:20 am

I am traveling to China over the summer. I have read that taking pictures in airports or of airplanes is not permitted. Is there anyone out there who can confirm this? Or is there anyone out there who knows, first hand, if this policy is enforced? Thanks.
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 1:01 pm

RE: Photography In China

Sun Mar 25, 2001 6:56 am

Photography is sensitive at Chinese airports, but have you noticed how many pictures do in fact get taken there? If you plan on shooting, don't advertise it. You'll get busted if you roam around the airport perimeter, and I don't know what the consequences would be.

However, shooting from terminal windows (after security check and the other BS), usually isn't a problem as long as you are discreet. Keep the cameras in the bag until its time to grab the shot. Just do it quickly and get the camera back into the bag promptly.

For years at HKG Kai Tak there were signs prohibiting photography posted all over the place, but I never saw anybody enforcing it. I think it also depends on where in China you are. I don't envision problems at major international Chinese airports, but if you venture inland that's another story.
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RE: Photography In China

Sun Mar 25, 2001 8:41 am

I have been to Beijing (PEK) a few years ago, in December of 1994 and spent 6 days from sunrise to sunset (well, during winter the days are quite short but very cold) at the fence next to the taxiway that leads to runway 36L and I had absolutely no problems with police or the military!!!

Maybe I was just lucky.....

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Joined: Fri Jun 18, 1999 3:13 am

RE: Photography In China

Sun Mar 25, 2001 9:49 am


I have been standing at the same spot at the fence at Beijing airport like CrewChief32 did and had absolutly no problems with the authorities. There is military presence at the airport in the form of guards. They have posts every couple of 100 meters along the perimeters. But they are used to spotters and smile when they pass you on your bike.

Took lots of photos without a problem. Have read many reports of other spotters, not only in Beijing but also other airports and they did not experience problems.

So no problem at all. If you are unlucky you wil meet a grumpy military guard that tells you to put away the camera. But this happens at European airports as well once a while (Paris, Rome, Madrid)

best wishes,
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RE: Photography In China

Sun Mar 25, 2001 3:00 pm

I think it's worst in the land of freedom (USA) than in China.

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RE: Photography In China

Sun Mar 25, 2001 5:26 pm

Looks like someone wants to turn this into a political debate! Ever been to either the US or China?

"Show me the Braniffs"
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RE: Photography In China

Sun Mar 25, 2001 9:22 pm

Hi, and again, also I was in Beijing (last october) at the spot of CC32 and Marcel, no problems for the whole day.

Regards, George
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RE: Photography In China

Mon Mar 26, 2001 1:38 am


I don`t want to continue a political debatte, but I believe you will agree that it is far more likely to get in contact with the authorities at NYC, especially at JKF rather than in Beijing????

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RE: Photography In China

Mon Mar 26, 2001 2:54 am

Firstly, I want to say, that I was not trying to wave the flag or turn this into an us vs them debate. However when a very blanket statement like that is made, and it is without substance or merit, then I feel that I must speak up.

I do agree about JFK, but the we have to look at LAX, MIA or most of the other major airports in the US, where there is little or no interference or restriction on photography(aside from the occassional overzealous security guard or police officer). Most airport authorities (in the US the cities or counties own the airports) and FAA are usually OK with photography, just as long as you are not trying to scale a parimenter fence or illegly trying to access a secured area, namely the airside operations area (AOA). Suffice it to say had he merely pointed to JFK as an example, then I never would have responded.

Although I have been to China, I have never photographed aviation there, so I can not speak on whether it is safe to shoot at Capital City Airport in Beijing or Shanghai.

"Show me the Braniffs"
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RE: Photography In China

Wed Mar 28, 2001 11:26 pm


Thats a pretty bold statement...

At a lot of US airports there are dedicated spotting/photography areas!!

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H. Simpson
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RE: Photography In China

Fri Mar 30, 2001 12:40 pm

USAFHummer, "At a lot of US airports there are dedicated spotting/photography areas!!"

but a lot don't, man!
Ok, usually, if you don't act like a idiot or stupid move, most of the time you really had no problem. I went to LGA in NYC last weekend and I took 48 photos with absolutely no problem. Those security just standing at the side, singing rap songs, can hanging around, they were even more suspicious than me!
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RE: Photography In China

Fri Mar 30, 2001 3:35 pm

My main problem spotting was in the states, not China.

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