Its a good idea. One of the guys on the phtography forum had a run-in with cops recently and someone on that thread mentioned organizing, similar to the AOPA. I think that more than simply an organization of spotters who get together an a certain airport we need to try and organize for all spotters across the u.s.a. and to "enlighten" airport authorities to our hobby, numbers of people interested in planes, and how things can be done that would both increase our safety and give us some basic freedom.
they've got the same threats in Europe (especially U.K.) and yet they are not "locking down" every place like in this country and spotters are encouraged at some places as a set of "extra eyes & ears" to watch out for suspicious people.
People do not realize just how many people in this country have visited an airport perimeter just to watch and/or take pictures. Yesterday i was out at Nashville (BNA
) and for 3 hours there was a steady trickle of cars coming and going from the Aircraft Observation Area. And that was only a 3-hour slice of one day of one week. Same situation in Houston and every other airport I have been to. FLL
used to be actually crowded and hard to find a parking space in the Viewing Area lot. Once in the late 90s when the Concorde came to FLL
there was such a crowd that police had to direct traffic. The Concorde was 5 hours late and still many people stayed the whole time.
I would support an idea that airports issue "passes" to spotters in order to identify who is a spotter and who is not.