Let me set the scene for you.
Not attacking you Chris, just want to describe what goes on at Airside tours.
First, you park your car at the environment office where ATT is located. Then, pay your money, show your ID
(for security reasons. Even I had to show my ID
each time I went even though Tonia knew who I was) then board the bus. The bus drives to the Domestic terminal where the passengers disembark to go through a security screening via metal detectors and randomly checked for explosives while placing all our belongings on the x ray conveyor belt. All items resembling a sharp object are confiscated and not returned so we are warned to leave such items at the office before we get on the bus. While we are getting screened, the bus goes through a security screening as well where 1 or 2 security personnel thoroughly comb the bus inside and out which can take as long as 5-10 minutes. Then the bus pulls up at the tarmac side of the gate and we all get on. At no time are the passengers or the driver permitted to get off the bus while the bus is on the tarmac. (Tonia, the driver, has said she can't even get tower or ramp access and alan and myself joked about Sam being above her as he can get those clearances, yet she works there. Still love your work Sam.) I have seen on each ocassion I go on the tour, no less than 4 airport security cars driving around the field.
Now, my point, if a tour bus with approximately 30 to 40 people are allowed to take a tour around the airport under these conditions, what harm could a camera possibly cause? A reporter with a good telephoto lens can get any shot he wants of the baggae handlers so I doubt that was the reason.
Tonia, bless her, has emailed me and told me she, and her business partner are going to start having several meetings with SACL about this and will do whatever she can to get this decision overturned, but, not to hold my breath as it doesn't look like it will be resolved in the near future. Unfortunately, Alan and myself won't be going on these tours anymore as we only go for the photo ops.
SACL has not told Airside tours to leave or minimise business. They only told them not to allow cameras on the tour anymore.
As for the observation deck and the mound and the several other spotting locations around the airport, do you really think they will be available for much longer? Sydney had an observation deck years ago and they closed it down. I remember taking a few photos at the mound with Alan one morning and a police car came around, did a small lap and left.
Perhaps, if airport security were doing what they are paid to be doing, none of this would be necessary.
[Edited 2005-05-16 15:31:51]
[Edited 2005-05-16 15:33:13]
Without struggle, there is no progress. (Frederick Douglass)