This is what I wrote to Alvy Dodson, VP
February 23, 2004
Mr. Alvy Dodson
Vice President – Public Safety
Dear Mr. Dodson,
If this email needs to be re-directed; if so, could you please give me the more appropriate recipient?
I am an employee for XXX Airlines as the Regional Sales Manager for the DFW
area. I am also one of a group of airline photographers who occasionally have interaction with your officers while pursuing my hobby. A great majority of the time, all of these officers that I have come into contact with have been extremely polite and pleasant. However, that certainly was not the case on Sunday, February 22, 2004. I had the unfortunate occurrence of meeting Officer P Tittor, whose badge number is 274. I strongly feel that this officer went a little overboard with me and some other photographers that were with me and it became more a matter of harassment than routine checking.
Our position is that we want to abide by the law and certainly don't want to compromise safety at the airport perimeter. We are also aware of the post-9/11 times in which we live where vigilance is the order of the day. However, I have had contact with the TSA
and have received notification from this agency that airline photography is not against the law. Officer Tittor would not listen to anything I had to say about the situation, stating that we had to have a permit to take photos. I have been taking airliner photographs at DFW
Airport for over six years and no one has ever told me that I need a permit to take photographs. It is also my understanding that where we were taking photographs is not private property. It is a public parking lot. Officer Tittor told us to go over to Founder’s Plaza as an alternate location. That is an acceptable place for morning shots, yet in the afternoon, we would be shooting straight into the sun, which is not good for these types of photographs. I would also like to point out that I have been published in many airliner magazines, along with having my photos posted on sites such as www.airliners.net and www.jetphotos.net
As a whole, our group believes that we should be treated as allies of the public safety officials, not opponents. When we are doing our hobby, we are extra pairs of eyes as it were, scrutinizing the area constantly. Of course, we are looking for aircraft to photograph, but we would quickly notice someone or something that would warrant further checking.
We would love to arrange a meeting with those in charge in order to create a positive dialogue and to clearly state our position. Our goal would be to work out some means whereby we can safely pursue our hobby without compromising your task at hand. If we need a permit to take photographs at DFW
Airport, we would gladly be subjected to a criminal background check and be willing to pay for a yearly DFW
Airport recognized ID
as an airline photographer.
Again, if I need to be sending this to another officer or department head, please forgive me and give me their name and email address. I am looking forward to your reply.