I've only had one run-in at JFK
and it was with a Swissport employee, not Port Authority (inside Terminal 4, employee demanded I delete my photos). At LGA
recently I had a US Airways employee tell me to stop taking pictures out the window as it's illegal.
After the Terminal 4 incident, I called PANYNJ's media relations department, told them of the incident and asked what their policy is. They stopped short of saying the Swissport employee was in the wrong, but at that time (about 5 years ago) this was their stated policy:
- They have knowledge that terrorists were inside the WTC prior to 9/11 doing surveillance and taking photographs and as such view photography with some level of suspicion.
- That said, photography is not illegal on Port Authority property.
- Photography is not permitted near TSA
- Anyone seen taking pictures on Port Authority property should expect to show ID
and provide an explanation of their actions to police
Has anyone else tried to call the Port Authority recently? My info is again about five years old and the policy may well have changed.
One major exception to the above is PATH, which has a clearly-stated anti-photography policy - you must have both a permit and a PATH escort to take pictures, and the escort can decide what you can/cannot take pictures of. PATH will even go after photographers taking pictures of their facilities/trains from public property. ACLU successfully fought a similar rule on New Jersey Transit but the PATH policy remains in effect.