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LatAmFlyer
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Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:48 pm

I can certainly understand why some govts won't allow folks to snap fotos of their airports; I learned my lesson vicariously through my dad who many years ago was taken into custody at PEE for doing exactly that. Does anyone have any personal stories about their travails at airports -- domestic or foreign -- including being arrested or otherwise seriously confronted while taking shots either inside an aircraft or outside a terminal like these guys?

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...ing-pictures-at-airport?CMP=twt_gu
 
nikeherc
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:33 pm

I could understand it if they were taking pictures of security measures, critical structures such as the control tower or fuel storage, or individuals who work at the airport. Pictures of planes taking off would seem to be very innocuous. If they were using digital cameras, it should be very easy to scan their photos. If they weren't taking pictures of prohibited areas, that should be apparent and they should not be detained further.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
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777GE90
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:45 pm

I'm always making videos and taking pictures whenever I fly, ofcourse not of security but usually airport terminals, planes in flight and so on. My dad always gets upset with me when he is listening to the in-flight announcements saying "turn off electrical devices" and my camera is aimed out of the window lol. But I've even once had a FA approach me during the safety announcement and she was completely understanding, she told me as long as I don't film in the cabin it is perfectly fine.

The only time I got close to getting into some trouble was when I was in old Doha airport, I was recording the tail of our QR 787 whilst climbing up the stairs and the bus driver seemed to have objections, he told me to turn my camera off, so I reluctantly did and then turned it back on once on board. Never really understand why Doha has such a problem with it  . What is the worst someone can do with a picture of a plane?
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outbackair
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:46 pm

Difficult for westerners to understand, but Kenya has had it's share of terrorist attacks. The attempt to bring down an Arkia 757-300 with shoulder-launched missiles may help to explain why they are concerned.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2522207.stm

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20021128-1
 
canyonblue17
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:02 am

Quoting outbackair (Reply 3):
Difficult for westerners to understand, but Kenya has had it's share of terrorist attacks

Uh......Sept 11th. We understand.
negative ghostrider the pattern is full
 
mham001
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:55 am

I don't think we have the whole story. The picture in the article shows the man on the tarmac within 200' or so of a plane. Is this a flyer or on display? Do they allow people to wander around that close to planes in Nairobi? If sitting in the bar, maybe a bit loose too.

Given the sensitivities in Kenya right now, I can see how the police would take this seriously, thankfully so. The photographers should know better, notice the charges are trespassing and using a phone app to track planes. There's a new one too.
 
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eastafspot
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:20 am

"better safe than sorry"


I definitely do agree with Kenyan Authorities decision ! that's good for them
Next time these people travel, they should better read carefully their FCO advices:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya/local-laws-and-customs


Quote:

Quote:
Taking photographs of official buildings, including Embassies, can lead to detention. If in any doubt, don’t photograph or film around them.

...

Quote:
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), established in 1991 under KAA Act, Chapter 395 of the Laws of Kenya,

End of the discussion.


The travel lift ban does not mean Kenya now becomes the far west for them or anyone else... At least hope these Brits learn something useful, if not keep them locked up and throw the keys out... just for the example!


[quote=mham001,reply=9]Given the sensitivities in Kenya right now, I can see how the police would take this seriously, thankfully so. The photographers should know better, notice the charges are trespassing and using a phone app to track planes. There's a new one too.

Exactly!   

[Edited 2016-03-19 20:48:52]
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kq747
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:34 am

There is an official policy against taking photos at kenyan airports and once in a while airport staff will mention this to passengers if they see you taking photos. All domestic flights out of JKIA T1C and T2 are remote stands which you walk to the gate from the terminal and you always disembark by stairs since the arrivals building was destroyed. This has definitely lead to people departing and arriving taking more photos especially with phones, myself included, and of course I see a lot of people taking selfies with planes while on the ramp. Spotting is a not at all a common hobby in Kenya and even in countries where it is, authorities are still woefully ignorant. Just this week I was out at BOS to catch the inaugural A350 and ran into a few other spotters one of whom was questioned by someone before I arrived and then again questioned by another officer as we left if we had permission (one of the spotters had gotten permission beforehand).

As far as Wilson Airport , I can imagine anyone having lunch or a drink at the Aeroclub would be very tempted to take photos of aircraft as you are extremely close to the active. I am very surprised that this situation has gotten this out of hand, Al-shabaab or no Al-shabaab!
 
sunilgupta
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:47 am

I could tell you stories from now to the end of next week   Technically I have never been arrested (so far as I know) but I've been detained and put through the ringer in South Korea, India, Bangkok (search these forums), Europe and in the USA. I've had handguns, rifles and machine guns pointed at me several times. I've evaded authorities who got calls in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia and, of course, in the USA (sometime literally driving right by them as they go to find me). I've bribed law enforcement in certain places (but never in the USA or Europe) to get out of sticky situations.

On the other side of the coin; I've called the real police on rouge TSA, private security (for example, El-Al security) and even lower-level real police who were trying to intimidate me.

Anything can happen, but the key to a good outcome is to be truthful, honest, cooperative and ... a little bit of luck.

heavy747, they are within their rights to stop and question you no matter where you are. They are doing their jobs and it's in your best interest to cooperate and keep your comments to yourself - in the end they will leave you alone assuming all checks come back clean. But "let them know how I felt about them" is a great way to aggravate the situation and potentially ruin your day (or life).

BlatantEcho, I'm sorry to say, but there must be another side to your story.

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N415XJ
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:02 am

Quoting mham001 (Reply 9):
The picture in the article shows the man on the tarmac within 200' or so of a plane. Is this a flyer or on display?

That is a NAMC YS-11 (60s-70s-80s turboprop) in Air Nippon colors. Also, look at the ground. It looks like brick, which as far as I know if not used airside outside of Europe and maybe Japan. To me, this is a picture probably taken from his facebook page of a different spotting trip in front of a static plane at an air museum or something.

They say that they were sitting at a bar and even had permission beforehand, but were arrested anyway. I could see a policeman arresting a shady looking young arab-looking guy with a long beard, but this was just a group of nerdy old english dudes who I'm sure looked absolutely harmless. At most the police officers should just tell them to delete the pictures, and I can't imagine who would be stupid enough to refuse. Perhaps the police officer wanted to look like a hero for catapulting a 'terrorist cell' or was just looking for a bribe.

[Edited 2016-03-19 21:03:44]
 
Planesmart
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:20 am

When BCAL flew to Kenya, they initially hired local security guards, but then had to fly in UK security guards, to watch the locals. Passengers had to be offloaded because safety gear, and even seats disappeared.

Good to know security has been beefed up
 
kdhurst380
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:25 am

Always be conscious and respect local laws. Check FCO advice and if in any doubt, don't do it. It's simple really.

Hope these guys get out, but more than anything, I hope it teaches them the error of their ways. Be sensitive to the laws of the country in which you are in.
 
outbackair
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:38 am

Quoting canyonblue17 (Reply 4):
Uh......Sept 11th. We understand.

What? I was referring to the fact that people don't understand Kenya's fear of terrorism against aircraft. You don't always have to bring up 9/11 and the good 'ol US of A. There's a bigger world out there!
 
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RWA380
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:35 am

Quoting LatAmFlyer (Thread starter):
Does anyone have any personal stories about their travails at airports -- domestic or foreign -- including being arrested or otherwise seriously confronted while taking shots either inside an aircraft or outside a terminal like these guys?

I was looking for an Air Nauru flight that had just arrived & was told in the terminal that it would be arriving the other side of the field & the hanger it was coming to, I was very confused, but was told the normal commercial 727 had MX issues back in Nauru & this flight was operated by a private jet. I caught the pilots attention as he deplaned, Can't tell you how I did that part, but next thing I know, I'm invited inside the fence & he took me onboard the plane & started to tell me about the flight they just flew, Nauru to Christmas Island to Honolulu, 4 passengers on both legs. I filmed it on my camcorder, this was in the early 90's sometime. I did stretch the truth about my credentials, but had one of the best experiences in aviation spotting ever.

After I left the gated area & we agreed to meet up later in Waikiki for a night on the town, I got in my car & start driving off, I was pulled over by Honolulu P.D. for being on the back road of the Honolulu Airport, on the access road towards the reef runway that's when the man pulled me over & the fine officers of the Honolulu P.D. asked me what my business was, I told him that I just shagged the pilots & they left starred at me, talked privately & let me leave with no incident.

Quoting outbackair (Reply 3):
Difficult for westerners to understand, but Kenya has had it's share of terrorist attacks. The attempt to bring down an Arkia 757-300 with shoulder-launched missiles may help to explain why they are concerned.

All of us who come from Africa originally know that there is an inherent danger of losing your life in those countries, I think it's the sad wreck that is left after the White Europeans tried to "Colonize" African countries one after the other. The African people do live in a fear that overshadows life in everywhere in their respective countries.

Quoting BlatantEcho (Reply 10):
I refuse to trust police anymore.

You know there are many good L.E. officers, I am related to several of them. I'm sorry your situation has you asking people to stop trusting the officers who keep order in this chaos filled sandbox we all play in.

But by telling people to hate the police, not trust them, lie to them, makes living in a civilized society a lot harder. All I know, for each person like you who says these things about our L.E., you put another target on another one of my family members backs.
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F9Animal
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:06 am

As a teen, my friend and I were spotting at LAS. We took some pictures of the old bone yard on the west side of the field. I want to say it was around 1994 or 1995. Anyways, we wanted to get some pictures of the old Janet 737-200's. Yeah, that didn't go well at all. We were greeted by Metro Police, and their security. We didn't get arrested, but we sure had sweat rolling down our heads!

Around that same time, we went on a road trip to Tonopah Nevada. We decided to see if we could get close to the Tonopah Test Site. As we drove down the road leading to it, signs started to warn us to turn around. Well, being teens, we wanted to keep on going. Suddenly we both started feeling sick. In fact, we had to stop and get out to vomit. Needless to say, we turned around and decided not to go any further. It was crazy! My friend said it was likely bad food that caused us to get sick. I still think we got a taste of something, because we felt better as we drove away. Never could figure out what made us sick! When my friend suggested Area 51, I got smart and said no. LOL!
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wingflex744
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:08 am

It happens all over the places...
I have been questioned at LAX Westchester bridge by airport police...
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today...it's already tomorrow in Australia!
 
nojetlag
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:07 am

Yes happened to me at Mexico City. Waiting for my luggage and they had windows where you could see the bags being unloaded and put on the belt. Took a photo and the guy next to me said you will be in trouble. Didn't think much of it until a very large policeman said you took photo. I said yes he said not allowed and explained why. Policemen in my photo could be identified and shot. I explained that I was going to write a story and explain to other people what a great system they had. He said thanks but sorry we need to remove the photos but you can write the story. Struck up a good conversation and he explained my flight frequently had drugs on board and told me about an 85 year old grandma caught last week. Don't know if it were true or not but a great story. All polite no arrest and when I left the baggage area he was on the gate, smiled and said "Welome to Mexico"
 
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scbriml
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:17 am

Quoting mham001 (Reply 5):
The picture in the article shows the man on the tarmac within 200' or so of a plane. Is this a flyer or on display?

You're assuming that photo was taken at NBO. I've been at NBO (and not had issues taking photos) and that doesn't look like it to me.
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airevents
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:53 am

Things are really getting out of control. I was at Wilson last year, stayed at the Aeroclub and took plenty of pictures openly, no problem at all. The same around the airport perimeter. And I haven´t heard of any negative experience there whatsoever. Maybe a young cop still in training trying to prove himself?
 
b747400erf
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:10 am

Quoting airevents (Reply 22):
Maybe a young cop still in training trying to prove himself?

They might be on edge due to a large amount of terrorist attacks.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:41 am

Quoting B747400ERF (Reply 23):
They might be on edge due to a large amount of terrorist attacks.

Indded, but at some point, common sense needs to kick in. Four middle-aged guys outside the airport taking photos and writing down plane registrations are VERY unlikely to be any kind of security threat.

Quoting airevents (Reply 22):
I was at Wilson last year, stayed at the Aeroclub and took plenty of pictures openly, no problem at all.

Wilson is great, I was there in 2014 myself. No issues with photography there and you can even get a ramp tour. Great variety of planes to see.

View Large View Medium
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Photo © Steve Brimley
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Photo © Steve Brimley


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Photo © Steve Brimley
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Photo © Steve Brimley



NBO is a different matter, much more sensitive, but even then, I wasn't stopped from taking pictures in the terminal or on the ramp.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Steve Brimley
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Photo © Steve Brimley



View Large View Medium
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Photo © Steve Brimley
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Photo © Steve Brimley

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GDB
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:02 pm

Quoting canyonblue17 (Reply 4):
Uh......Sept 11th. We understand.

The attempts to down a 757 in Kenya was with a SAM-7 type weapon fired near the airport.

Quoting outbackair (Reply 12):
What? I was referring to the fact that people don't understand Kenya's fear of terrorism against aircraft. You don't always have to bring up 9/11 and the good 'ol US of A. There's a bigger world out there!

Well, some of us recall that IRA terrorists got money and weapons from US citizens, many in NY and Boston. We always thought that would dry up once they got a taste of it themselves, as it happens, the first attempt on the WTC, the 1993 basement bomb, happened around the time of the IRA ceasefire so that theory was never tested. 'War On Terror' zealot, GOP Rep from NY, Pete King, was once rather keen on terrorists with shamrocks.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 25):
Indded, but at some point, common sense needs to kick in. Four middle-aged guys outside the airport taking photos and writing down plane registrations are VERY unlikely to be any kind of security threat.

I agree in principle but you don't even have to go to Africa to get problems, remember those spotters nicked in Greece a few years back?
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:26 pm

I'm sure the full story will emerge in due course but it is common knowledge with the enthusiast community that photography at Nairobi is a no-no. Of course, some people will travel to these destinations and with or without the aid of local experts or officials and have no problem whatsoever, while others will be arrested and thrown in gaol.
 
rsrik
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:19 pm

Let me share my experience at SJC...

I used to sit 100 metres away from departing flights at SJC before Sep 11, 2001... no questions asked! Watching the NRT bound AA 777 was a treat. And, those days, there were all kinds of planes including the 727, and so many airlines, such as Reno Air, TWA.
I went there once after Sep 11, and in a little while a cop pulled up and asked me a few questions. I asked him what was up, and he revealed that someone had called 911.
The cop was satisfied, and told me I could continue on.
But, I don't think I went there again after that incident
 
GUYAIR707
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:36 pm

EWR 2002, I was in the IKEA parking lot waiting and decided to film A/C landing and taking off. An IKEA "rent a cop" came over and asked me to stop filming and I did, but not before asking him why and on what authority he was asking me to stop. Needless to say he called the real cops and after a few questions as to my ID and occupation the cop asked me not to film again and left.

GUYAIR707
 
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scbriml
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:42 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 26):
remember those spotters nicked in Greece a few years back?

In fairness, I believe they were at a military base, not a civilian airport. I don't think the Kenyan military has any planes based at NBO, although they do fly in there.

Quoting GUYAIR707 (Reply 29):
Needless to say he called the real cops and after a few questions as to my ID and occupation the cop asked me not to film again and left.

I've had more interaction with security in the US than anywhere else. Most times a simple conversation and a quick look at the passport has been all that has been required. One cop did explain to me that they'd received a report of 'suspicious behaviour.' I told him I'd been there for a couple of hours and hadn't seen anything suspicious! He got the joke and told me to enjoy the rest of my day.

If I had been asked to stop shooting, I'd want to know exactly why and of which regulations/laws I was in breach. I know it's never wise to push your luck with security, but often there is no valid reason and they're just trying to get you to go away to make their day easier. I'm always polite and respectful, but will be firm if I think it's justified.
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727LOVER
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:42 pm

Quoting GUYAIR707 (Reply 29):
I was in the IKEA parking lot
Quoting GUYAIR707 (Reply 29):
why and on what authority he was asking me to stop

See above quote
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
petertenthije
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:11 pm

Just a few cases where I had police or rent-a-cops, but no problems really with any of them .


Many years ago while spotting at Schiphol at the crashgate overlooking pier G near the Schipholtunnel. Police asked why I was there and if I would not mind leaving. I started walking away, and was offered a ride back to the terminal since it is a long walk.

Then during a visit to Frankfurt. I did not know that President Bush would visit the next day, so security was tight. Two police officers (one very senior, one very junior) approached me and asked for my identification. So I handed my ID to the senior officer. He looked at it, grinned, and handed it to the junior officer and asked him to do the background check. You should realise my family name is looong, so it took the junior officer 5 minutes to ask despatch to do a background check. T wie Tango, E wie Echo, N wie November.... all glorious 31 letters long. Some Germans do have a sense of humour.

Then at my first visit to New York around 2006. Once while spotting at LGA I was approached by some guy telling me that photography is illegal and he would call the police. I told him politely it was not illegal. With perfect timing a police car drove by. I did a gentle wave, got a gentle wave back and mr know-it-all buggered of.

Then spotting at EWR from the top of car park P4. I was about ready to leave (ruwnay 11/29 as not in use) when someone from the PANYNJ told me I was not allowed to go spotting and that I should call the police for a permit. Back at the terminal I called the police and they told me to approach PANYNJ medica relations. Called PANYNJ media relations only to be told that they only care about the media (well, duh) and that I should call the PANYNJ police. Called the police again: after being told "you again, I told you to call media relations" I was told "we do not care about people photographing, I recommend you use your own ingenuity". So my ingenuity decided I'd spend the rest of the day spotting from the terminal. LOL
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anjin
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:49 pm

I went to the Bahrain air show this year which was held at the Sakhir air base. Place was full of security and the army.
No problems getting the camera out however. The local paper called the geeks that were there in relatively small numbers "aviation buffs" . Outside the airshow I've had the camera out at the main airport, sparingly, never pointed at mil aircraft.
Mrs has told me not to do it , she's right of course but its because I'm a buff!!
 
BlatantEcho
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:06 pm

My post about being arrested for spotting was deleted as 'Off Topic' in a thread about spotters being arrested for spotting...

--
To repost in perhaps more detail so the moderators can understand how this relates to the thread...


I (32 year old, white male, full american citizen), was arrested outside of the MSP airport (not at the airport) for taking photos of airplanes landing.

Middle of summer, I was wearing flip flops, shorts and had a 200mm lens on my DSLR camera standing on a grass hill.
This was in a public park, with other people around (including delta pilot watching planes waiting for his wife's plane to arrive).

I was cuffed, throw in the back of a squad car, brought to the airport police station, put in a cell, then fingerprinted and had mugshot taken. Put back in the cell, and then ultimately released.

I was never told what I was being arrested for (I asked multiple times during the event). I was only told I was 'suspicious', and then I was ultimately let go with a citation, but no charges.


This was broad daylight, with other people around, and I even had a valid ticket for travel (I made my flight that evening, by some miracle).


All of this in the land of the free.
So, if it happens in the US, I'm sure it can happen in any other country.

You might be within your rights (I was, clearly), and you might have the law on your side by facts....
But, if a cop wants to ruin your day, well, they have handcuffs and guns and all we have are cameras!
Not a fair fight for spotters.

[Edited 2016-03-20 09:07:36]
 
copter808
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:06 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 30):
often there is no valid reason and they're just trying to get you to go away to make their day easier.

I don't think your being there changed his day one bit. But if he was responding to a call someone else made, he was pretty much required to check on you. Also, by getting your information when he did, he or another officer would not have to do it again later if someone else called. Although there may be a few officers who disagree, it takes virtually NO effort to ask you a few questions, enter it into the MDT (computer), and be on their way if it checks out. Most agencies probably don't require any additional paperwork.

Quoting GUYAIR707 (Reply 29):
EWR 2002, I was in the IKEA parking lot waiting and decided to film A/C landing and taking off. An IKEA "rent a cop" came over and asked me to stop filming and I did, but not before asking him why and on what authority he was asking me to stop.

I suspect there may be more to the story here, but his "authority" would be based on the fact you were trespassing on private property. If you do not leave when asked, you have committed the offense of trespassing. Although I think in most cases your explanation would have been sufficient, there are always some officers--particularly private security--who may be on an ego trip. It's also possible that photographers taking pictures there on a previous occasion may have caused problems.

There are also several ways to ask the same question. "I'm sorry, can you please tell me why?" sounds much different than "What authority do you have to tell me to stop? I am exercising my legal rights."
 
factsonly
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:39 pm

Quoting kdhurst380 (Reply 11):
Always be conscious and respect local laws.

Especially when tweeting in Dubai.

A hair raising story..................for yet another Brit.


http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35852341
 
hamad
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:14 pm

Quoting nikeherc (Reply 1):
I could understand it if they were taking pictures of security measures, critical structures such as the control tower or fuel storage, or individuals who work at the airport. Pictures of planes taking off would seem to be very innocuous

It amazes me how some individuals have an ethnocentric attitude toward other countries. Unfortunately not all countries operate like our countries. what can be legal in one's country can be illegal in others. Before going to any other country we need to do our own research and understand what is legal and what is not.

Apparantly taking pictures and spotting is illegal in Kenya. I come from Dubai, it is not allowed as well, however the police will tell you to leave. In this situation they where arrested! again down to country's rule, not our own rule.
PHX - i miss spotting
 
TC957
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:30 pm

Quoting hamad (Reply 37):
I come from Dubai, it is not allowed as well,

I had a break to the Dubai Diera Sheraton recently and taking photos of the departing aircraft and spotting there was no problem but on a couple of occasions was told not to point the camera at the airport itself.
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:37 pm

I still don't understand what people think the terrorists would gain by taking pictures, or why taking pictures is suspicious behavior. It seems to be one of those things that is assumed and never questioned but doesn't make sense.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:35 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 39):
why taking pictures is suspicious behavior

Because most people don't understand it at airports. They see something they don't normally see - someone looking at planes with binoculars and writing stuff down, or someone with a large camera and lens (rather than a phone or point-and-shoot camera) and their first reaction is "Must be a terrorist, because I don't understand what they're doing."

I've travelled all over the World spotting and I get more 'hassle' in the USA than anywhere else I've been (and that includes all over the Middle East, Russia and Africa). As per my previous post, in the US it's always been a friendly conversation and ID check, then carry on.
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peterinlisbon
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:57 pm

The police there need some retraining, i.e. this is a "Terrorist" and this is a "Tourist". This is a "camera" and this is a "surface to air missile launcher." Surely what Kenya needs is more tourists and less terrorists, not the other way round.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:27 pm

When the Kinshasa airport reopened in 92 after Zaire's revolution of the month they had some fairly clear warnings regarding photography. But, a DC-3 sitting next to a 747 was so compelling, half a dozen other passengers on the runway shielded me from the lone security guy while I got the shot. (The photo, not the other kind)
Anon
 
Norcal773
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:47 am

Quoting kq747 (Reply 7):

There is an official policy against taking photos at kenyan airports and once in a while airport staff will mention this to passengers if they see you taking photos. All domestic flights out of JKIA T1C and T2 are remote stands which you walk to the gate from the terminal and you always disembark by stairs since the arrivals building was destroyed. This has definitely lead to people departing and arriving taking more photos especially with phones, myself included, and of course I see a lot of people taking selfies with planes while on the ramp. Spotting is a not at all a common hobby in Kenya and even in countries where it is, authorities are still woefully ignorant. Just this week I was out at BOS to catch the inaugural A350 and ran into a few other spotters one of whom was questioned by someone before I arrived and then again questioned by another officer as we left if we had permission (one of the spotters had gotten permission beforehand).

This is very true. I flew into NBO 3 times last year and took a selfie with a KLM 747 and a SWISS A330 after getting off of them since we used the stairs after landing both times, and took a ton of pics both times with no problem. The 3rd time around, I took pics of the SWISS A330 right after we landed and a cop approached me asking me why I was taking pics of the airplane and I explain I am a geek and wanted to take a pic of the plane that got me there from ZRH. He gave me a stern arming that it is illegal in Kenya and I apologized, told him I didn't know....end of story. They were terrible pics anyways considering it was dark  
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Ty134A
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:58 am

i remember spotting in LED once during an economic forum. there was police every 100m on the pulkovo shosse, and i stared to take pictures of the approaching aircraft - just to try and find out their reaction. i then got approached immediately by one of the guards and he asked me if i had any stingers. he was laughing because spotting was by far the dumbest thing in this situation. in the end there was noting and even though being a foreigner i was able to take pictures. the police then gave me a ride to the terminal for close ups, and there another officer was not so friendly and asked me to delete all the pics. he would check if i did it, so i started one by one. he gave up after he found out that i had about thousand pics on my sd, but wouldn't let me take any more. if you speak russian, there most probably won't be any troubles spotting, but if you behave like a foreign *****, you deserve it anyway. it's the same everywhere i guess.

i miss the times of spottting on the old LED 1 VIP ramp with all the nice aircraft... the TU3 and YK2 were parked about 25m away, that was cool. and the kiosk at the arrival sold beer for 25 RUB, in the terminal it was about 85... that was one nice time. now all is gone... expensive beer only in the terminal, no more tushkas, no more VIP ramp, and even russian winters aren't what they used to be.
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TC957
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:22 pm

Many years ago I got grizzled by cops in CUN, was on vacation there and decided to take a day off from the beach and have a day's spotting, as you do. I was in or around the same vantage spot all day near the terminal, was about to leave late afternoon to go back to the hotel when I got pulled up by the airport cops. They took me in and asked what " organization " I worked for that sent me around the world watching airliners.....
 
kq787
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:13 pm

Quoting outbackair (Reply 12):
What? I was referring to the fact that people don't understand Kenya's fear of terrorism against aircraft. You don't always have to bring up 9/11 and the good 'ol US of A. There's a bigger world out there!

I was in Kenya for 4 weeks in December / January. Due to recent al-Shabaab attacks, security personnel are EVERYWHERE in places such as malls, shopping centres, banks, even city markets. They check bags, cars ,etc. It is not unusual for military personnel with ak-47s patrolling gas stations and fast food joints where there are kids nearby. I can understand govt concerns about taking pictures of sensitive buildings
 
apfpilot
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:47 pm

I've been detained and searched at RSW and APF. No big deal, ironically enough I had a SIDA badge at APF later that year and knew the Airport Manager at RSW quite well.
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:40 pm

Quoting peterinlisbon (Reply 36):
The police there need some retraining, i.e. this is a "Terrorist" and this is a "Tourist". This is a "camera" and this is a "surface to air missile launcher." Surely what Kenya needs is more tourists and less terrorists, not the other way round.

Sure. Because terrorists always wear "Kill the infidels" hats while they're scoping out a target.

[Edited 2016-03-23 08:41:39]
Anon
 
peterinlisbon
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RE: Four Brits Arrested At Nairobi For Spotting

Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:16 pm

I'm sure that not being able to take photos in an obvious way is not a major inconvenience to them. They can still do it with a hidden camera or just have a look around and report back to their fellow psychopaths. It would be better for the police to focus on people that are really a threat than to waste time arresting tourists, and this takes at least a little bit of common sense.

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