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Re: Why the hell is MCO so spotter unfriendly?

Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:05 pm

Clipper136 wrote:

I have raised the subject of addressing your plight on this site several times before. Complaining on this forum will not change the policy. The Authority is governed by a board that oversees policy and procedures. Go before the board and plead your case. It is them you need to convince to change the policy, not anyone in this forum.

I would love for MCO to have a viewing park like the one at MAN. Parking, pick-nick areas, food vendors and observation binoculars. They might be able to turn a buck out of it. But they aren't going to build it on my word. You need to put in the effort and make your case.

This is great advice. We have done the same at MIA and FLL with success. Perhaps it is time the local MCO photographers to do the same with the MCO authorities for public locations (if they have not already started the process) . I am certainly willing to give input on what worked and what did not in our collaborations with MIA and FLL.

Clipper136 -Thank you for your illuminating post to get the facts out. (y)

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Re: Why the hell is MCO so spotter unfriendly?

Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:29 pm

YYZatcboy wrote:
Answering the YYC question, YYC is back to normal. They were sensitive for a while because of Pokemon Go which had locations that should not be publicly accessible, and the fact that someone jumped the fence in YEG a few weeks ago.

That's reassuring to know, thanks for the update.
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Re: Why the hell is MCO so spotter unfriendly?

Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:43 pm

KTPAFlyer wrote:
Armodeen wrote:
Hmm. Do they harass you if you are taking pictures outside the fence? I am going soon and was hoping to do a little spotting. Is there somewhere to get good views of aircraft on short final?

Yeah, I'll make no secret of the fact that anywhere (including the airside now) at MCO is a bad idea, and if anything, I suggest TPA/MIA instead, but somebody has to tell MCO what their rights are, and I'll do it myself if I have to. If you head over to TPA, the bowling alley or Cypress Park are excellent for arrivals depending on the runway, and the holes at MIA are fantastic.

Apples & oranges...those TPA spots are off-property

KTPAFlyer wrote:
It's great if they have such a program, but it must be worth vaporware if somebody whose actual job is on the airside gets hassle from GOAA. I would be interested to try it though, can you provide the link? Additionally, I can't name a single airport (other than MCO of course) that lays this requirement. At most airports, as long as you're not jumping the fence and doing anything crazy, needing paperwork to take some cool pictures is virtually a non starter.

I can think of one: TPA.
Granted, no forms to fill out, but if there are places, ON_PROPERTY, that I want to be for a significant amount of time, I will call and let them know in advance. Otherwise, you are risking getting thrown out

EA CO AS wrote:
In some ways I can understand where the MCO airport authority is coming from; if someone is interrupting their work to stop and take photos during their work day, they're potentially compromising safety in a safety-sensitive area. That's number one. Number two, if I'm the employer, I'm asking them why they're stopping in the middle of work to do something that's not work-related. Number three, if this is taking place outside of work hours, I'm reminding them that their SIDA badge is to aid them in performing their job, it's not a "backstage pass" to come and engage in a side hobby.

Now, are they overreacting? Maybe to some extent, but again, the aforementioned points are not invalid ones, and they're the ones issuing the SIDA badge for work, not photography, so....

I think you have laid out excellent points here.
ATL...are you listening?

Clipper136 wrote:
You are welcome to spot from any place you can legitimately park and wait.

So this would include the parking lots? Because I have seen people get kicked out of the surface lots.

Clipper136 wrote:
I understand that this is a beloved "hobby" of many people, but I enjoy being employed and able to pay my mortgage and put food on my table. I don't write the rules. My job is to enforce the rules as written, as long as they continue to pay me to do so. I will not jeopardize my income for some unknown person, whether or not your intentions are good.

I think that sums it up. That's why Orlando will never be my hometown.

If the Brits would have a massive boycott of this town, then you might see some changes.

Clipper136 wrote:
I would love for MCO to have a viewing park like the one at MAN. Parking, pick-nick areas, food vendors and observation binoculars. They might be able to turn a buck out of it. But they aren't going to build it on my word. You need to put in the effort and make your case.

As far as viewing areas, I can think of 2 good spots. One off of Heitzelman near the start of 35L. The other near the start of 17L

cpd wrote:
I have to agree with you there. Photography airside should really only be when there is a valid reason (news story, you are the photographer for the media outlet, etc), not just because you like spotting and what to one-up your "rival" spotters outside the fence (as sometimes seems to be the case).

There's ONE_UPPING in aviation photography ?????

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Re: Why the hell is MCO so spotter unfriendly?

Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:43 pm

KTPAFlyer wrote:

flyajj "So I heard horror stories about Orlando and their attitude toward pictures but I've never had a problem so I didn't think anything of it. Well that ended today when the Airport Authority informed my manager that if I post anymore pictures they will suspend my badge. Never a warning, never shown a rule, just this out of the blue. Should have stayed in freaking Tampa. So for the time being my content will be strictly outside the fence. I wish they were more like the great people at Tampa."

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but on the MCO SIDA badge application, directly above where the applicant must sign and date it, there is a clause which reads, in part, that the applicant will not take photographs on the AOA, or risk having their badge suspended or revoked. Everyone at the airport who has a SIDA badge must sign and date this same application, assenting to its terms and conditions. The subject of this thread is no different, so it is incorrect to state that he/she was "never [given] a warning, never shown a rule, [and that it was just] out of the blue." Stop by Access Control and check it out for yourself. Unfortunately, it is impossible to enforce this rule uniformly as it would require an absurd amount of labor hours. However, when the Authority becomes aware of such activity by employees, they reserve the right to take action pursuant to the SIDA badge agreement, as I would imagine was the case here.

USAirKid wrote:
Clipper136 wrote:
You are welcome to spot from any place you can legitimately park and wait. The Authority controls the use of its property. The Authority is not a public entity, like a city or municipality.

This is incorrect.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is an agency of the City of Orlando.

There is hereby created a board or commission to be known as the "Greater Orlando Aviation Authority," and by that name the Authority may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, contract and be contracted with, and have an official seal. The Authority is hereby constituted an agency of the City, and exercise by the Authority of the powers conferred by this act shall be deemed and held to be an essential municipal function of the City.

from: Orlando Code of Ordinances: Title 1, Chapter 16, Section 3

In fact, your interpretation of the ordinance is incorrect. What you’ve quoted is a delegation of agency authority to the Aviation Authority to act on behalf of the City in certain matters, to wit the issuance by the Ground Transportation Agents of parking tickets for illegally parked vehicles, etc. GOAA, as another poster pointed out, is a public corporation, a quasi-governmental entity. As such, the property is fully under the control and authority of GOAA and its employees.

The Airfield Operations team as well as Airport Security are tasked by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration, respectively, to oversee and manage the safety and security of the airport. See 14 CFR Part 139, 49 CFR Part 1542. This includes ensuring that all air carrier operations are able to be conducted in a secure environment. Ensuring that the fence lines are free from potential threats, and that employees inside the fenceline (the “AOA”) are not distracted by taking photographs and/or inadvertently recording sensitive security information are steps that are taken to achieve regulatory compliance. Unlike some posters have incorrectly stated, there is plenty that is visible from inside the AOA that is not from outside the fence or inside the terminal. GOAA has, alternatively, instituted a program where spotters can fill out a simple form and spot from the parking garage. This is a perfectly acceptable compromise. I can tell you from experience that I have gotten some great shots from that area.

Last, but not least, the ideology behind that provision of the SIDA agreement comes from the tenant airlines themselves. Often, aircraft are dirty or in need of paint. This may frequently be unnoticed from a distance. Airlines dislike unofficial photographs of their aircraft for this reason (and several others). By prohibiting photography (absent exigent circumstances such as an incident report) inside the AOA, the airline tenants—i.e. the primary source of revenue for the airport—are happy, and that is a good thing.
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Re: Why the hell is MCO so spotter unfriendly?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:38 am

Clipper136 wrote:

I am an employee at MCO, for the Aviation Authority, and in the department responsible for running off spotters.

So you work for Airport Security or OPD? Because Airport Ops is not typically responsible for chasing spotters. Airside Ops is responsible for ensuring FAR Part 139 compliance and Landside Ops is responsible for crowd control, roadways, parking lots and inspecting landside aspects of the facility. Other than the police, Airport security seems like the only division of GOAA that might have some interest in bothering photographers/spotters. Even then, their job is to enforce TSR 1542, which has a lot to say about perimeter security but nothing about photographers hanging out near a fence and pointing cameras at airplanes. I say this having worked Airside and Landside Ops at the world's busiest airport, ATL. Never once in my time there was I trained or instructed to bother photographer/spotters. Now obviously, if we saw someone jumping the fence, we were to try and stop them and inform necessary parties (police, tower, etc). But if we saw someone putting their lens up against a perimeter fence, we left them alone and let them enjoy their hobby. And this was at the world's busiest airport.

Clipper136 wrote:
MCO actually has a great spotters policy......from the terminal top parking garage (as mentioned above)! You can stay as long as you wish without harassment. It may not be in an ideal spot for some of you, but it is there and available. You are welcome to spot from any place you can legitimately park and wait. The Authority controls the use of its property. The Authority is not a public entity, like a city or municipality.

I have a problem with this statement because I have personally been chased out of the Red Lot on two occasions back when I lived in Orlando. Once by Airfield Ops and once by OPD. The first time Ops was cruising the inside of the fence line and stopped at my friend and I, who were standing in the parking lot with cameras around our necks. He questioned us and told us we needed to leave the lot immediately. He was beyond rude and threatened to call the police if we were still there when he came back by in a few minutes. The second time OPD came out and followed us out of the lot, but not before I still had to pay for my parking. :roll:

So by your statement, I should have been left alone in the red lot. But that's not the case at MCO.

Clipper136 wrote:
As for the complaint of the authority threatening the badge of an airport employee. I don't know the particulars if this instance, but you have only heard one side of the story. Unless the person is inadvertently included security access points in his pictures or accessing restricted areas, I don't see the Authority having a problem. I see many airport employees everyday taking photos. It may also be the Employer using the Authority as a scapegoat. The only time that I know that the Authority was involved in taking a badge away was an employee that was using their ID to access secure areas of the ramp when they were not on duty in order to take pictures. That is a clear violation for the use of the badge and the employer asked the authority to get involved.

I completely agree with you and I think even the TSA has a policy against SIDA badges being used for personal reasons. Unfortunately it happens all the time and usually goes unnoticed until someone posts pictures online from that personal outing.

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