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digital-cavu
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Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:56 am

Hello all. With the coming of Spring, I thought I might head on over to Logan for some shots from the Terminal B parking garage. I had heard some recent rumors about photographers being harassed by the local authorities, so I wrote a letter to MASSPORT, the agency that operates the airport. A few days later, I received a response indicating that indeed, the MA State Police were detaining people and confiscating their camera gear for taking shots from the parking garage.

While there's no ordinance which prevents photography, and paying the fee to get your car in the garage seems to imply you can be there, there seems to be no end to the unnatural focus of the authorities. As a matter of fact, it's directly opposed to the very reasonable approach the Orlando Airport authorities have in place to allow the practice of taking pictures from their parking garage.

I strongly urge photographers in the Northeast to write to MASSPORT using the Contact Us link on their website and ask them to reconsider the practice of harassing photographers.
United States Navy submarine sailor turned aviation photography geek.
 
jderden777
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:15 pm

i've had an issue with massport and the MA state police since last june....confiscated a pretty crucial piece of equipment (and expensive) and i've yet to talk to anyone who knows how i can get it back...but that's not to say i've given up...

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
futterman
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:15 pm

Writing letters and contacting the authorities is definately a plus. In the NY area, I recently got somewhat inconsistent permission--but permission nonetheless--to take photos inside the LGA terminal (non-ticketed areas), phone call to the PAPD offices pending. Contact the people directly incharge of the airport and the property, but then you can try to raise awareness in your area and publicize the matter a bit. Perhaps shoot an email over to a local newspaper?

Guys in the MIA area should also have some great suggestions. Seems as if they worked out a fair deal with the authorities down there. Also, and I'm not encouraging you to do this, but if you do go out spotting (with or without permission from the adminstrative head honchos) and are detained...make the most of it and be persistant in using it against them. Be reasonable and tastefull though.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
What the FUTT?
 
digital-cavu
Topic Author
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:23 pm

Futterman, I was warned well ahead of time not to shoot there unless I wanted my gear taken regardless of the fact I would not have violated a single law or ordinance.

I've posted a letter to the Governor of MA to see if I can get a response from him/her. If nothing else, it will get forwarded to the state police from his office, which should make them sit up and take notice long enough to realize it's just another one of us crazy photographers whining about nothing....which doesn't mean it was a waste of time.

Thanks for your input, man. Keep the faith.
United States Navy submarine sailor turned aviation photography geek.
 
JayDavis
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:29 pm

Jonathan,

If you don't mind me asking, what gear did they take of yours? Have you contacted a lawyer about this?

Just curious.


Good luck!


Jay Davis
 
goboeing
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:31 pm

!!!My roomates are on that parking garage right now, spotting in the rain! I'll post something if they encounter anything uncivilized.

Nick
 
futterman
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:32 pm

I was warned well ahead of time not to shoot there unless I wanted my gear taken regardless of the fact I would not have violated a single law or ordinance.

Classic. Absolutely classic. First thing, get the group of BOS spotters who I would imagine feel the exact same way you do. Discuss the matter briefly, then take it apon yourself to orgainze an appointment with one of the main figures of the MASSPORT, if you're lucky...if not, I suppose anybody would do.

Then, sit down and present your side of the story. If they're saying you can't take photos, although it is PERFEECTLY LEGAL (and they admit that), work out why you can't take photos. I'm interested to know what supports their decision to harass you, since it's obviously not a law.


It may be a little far fetched, and easier said than done, but I'm trying to get something similar accomplished with the guys down here.


I have also talked to a lawyer/spotter (go figure lol) about the matter. Getting the attention, as I suggested, of Congressmen and the such is not likely to do much. You wouldn't be the first group of people to go up and want stuff. Didn't say don't do it, though.  Smile
What the FUTT?
 
bigphilnyc
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:54 pm

"I'm interested to know what supports their decision to harass you, since it's obviously not a law."

The Patriot Act.
Phil Derner Jr.
 
jakbar
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:57 pm

Futterman...I didn't think someone with your advanced general knowledge would know any lawyer/spotters.  Smile
 
futterman
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:05 pm

The Patriot Act.

I'm happy you brought that up, Phil. I may have told you guys, but a month ago, I went to D.C. for a series of seminars with a Jewish Program (Religious Action Center/RAC). Anyways, we were preparing to lobby for a multitude of different topics, among them, civil liberties...and more specifically, the Patriot Act.

I had to write a hefty speech, and one thing I discussed was the incident I had at LGA where I was detained and told to delete my photos. Apparently, their actions were justified under the Patriot Act. Long story short, I was lobbying for the multiple reforms meant to revise the Patriot Act. If you're interested, I can send you that speech.


However, the Patriot Act simply allows the invasion of some of our simple liberties--taking photos of airplanes, for instance. It does not promote or demand it. The authorities are under no obligation to go up and seize your camera. That's why some airports are more lenient than others. All it takes (and hopefully it'll work) is a convincing argument. Fight fire with...fire!



Futterman...I didn't think someone with your advanced general knowledge would know any lawyer/spotters.

You don't happen to know any, do you?  Wink/being sarcastic I think your two cents are worth something here, Josh. Say something.  Smile

[Edited 2004-03-27 05:06:57]
What the FUTT?
 
tappan
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:44 pm

75 feet away and 2 floors under the terminal B planespotting perch several men went thru security with box cutters and boarded two planes on a sunny September morning. The rest is history (unfortunately) I can understand the action of these officials. I do not condone it, but...this is life post 911 and this is Massport's property and they can do what they want. :-(
Mark Grfinkel
 
cicadajet
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:29 pm

Surely, posting signage prohibiting photography and perhaps developing a policy of leveling fines for violators would be more reasonable than entities simply "doing what they want" - whatever that might be...such as confiscating or losing or effectively stealing American citizens' "property".

The failure to identify "evil doers", and subsequent effort to turn the entire populace into citizen-suspects is a bitter pill to swallow - especially being mindful it would never be the will of the American People to, for example, invite the "Blind Cleric" to live amongst us.

But perhaps homeland security will be left to individual librarians and university officials obstructing investigations (after all, it is their property) while rookie cops and Airport bureaucrats will make day to day decisions on whether to detain teenagers watching airplanes on "their" property.
 
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Bruce
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:49 pm

I have to agree with Mark. BOS was the starting point on 9/11 and so those authorities are understandably going to be a bit more anal than, say, police in buffalo. (ugh, who would ever hijack a plane out of there!!!!)

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
cicadajet
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 5:55 pm

Well, as it happens there was apparently an Al Quida cell that was rounded up in Buffalo.

And, apparently, spotters have had a hard time in Buffalo on at least one occasion.

As NYC was one of the *ending points* on 911, I'd be totally in favor of a ban on photography at all airports -- , boarding planes on sunny days, renaming all terminals currently designated as "B", shutting down A.net, ceasing manufacture of boxcutters, building tall structures etc.. if there is any serious connection established between this and preventing catastrophic attacks -- as the aircraft can originate from just about anywhere.

I am not aware of any shortcomings of Mass Port in connection with 911, and if they'd prefer to restrict photography in their best judgment to sterilize the airport for security purposes, (though I don't think security or law enforcement informed primarily via emotion is desirable) the least they can do is post the signs. If in fact they already did this, and the relevant authorities are responsive to the return of property after investigation, then fair enough. - Yeah, don't go there unless you "want" your property taken and "want" to be detained for some hours.


 
fireguy274
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 8:43 pm

I think you all need to realize the effects of 911 on Massport and Boston. They are under great pressure to increase security. Massport owns the parking garage and all the land around it. I would not of even tried taking pictures from there after 911. I do not agree with them keeping your equipment though. If you have a camera with a big lens anywhere near the airport people look at you like you have six heads and call the police. The public is afraid and we need to be sensitive to that. There are plenty of places not on Massport property where you can spot from in Boston. I personally have never been on the parking garage, but i dont believe it is any better than the other places off Massport property. When people see you with a big camera in these other places they call the police because they are afraid. The police usually come and check your id and say have a nice day. I wish 911 did not happen but it did and we are dealing with the after affects. Terrorism is not so much the act but the fear of the next. Thank the terrorist for all this not the police or Massport. The police are trying to do their job and as much as they need to be understanding of us we also need to understand they have a job to do.......Artie

[Edited 2004-03-27 12:47:51]
 
BDLGUY
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RE: Boston Detention

Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:22 pm

I heard that the Central Parking Garage should be okay for everyone watch or taking photos of the airplanes at Boston/Logan Airport.

Cheers!
John/BDL
John A. Perrotta (KBDL/BDL) - Canon 300D/400D & EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
 
digital-cavu
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:27 am

Well, I certainly appreciate all of your views, though I have to agree with those who have said that photographers and terrorism have no link. We're as benign a subset of the population as they come. We stand, we talk, we snap. End of story.

As for the over reaction of the public and the police, I must refer back to what I said earlier about the Orlando Airport, and their willingness to ask for ID ahead of time, issue a permit, and stay informed about those who are taking pictures. I've shot from the Terminal B garage post-9/11, but only recently has it become this nutso where the police would confiscate goods and retain them for a lengthy period of time without so much as an explanation or a law broken. Regardless of the pressure MASSPORT is under, two wrongs don't make a right. Harassment of the populace is harassment no matter how patriotic you paint the picture. Unreasonable treatment isn't the way to fix the problem, it simply creates new ones without fixing anything.

As for taking pictures from the other vantage spots off airport property, you need a pretty hefty lense to do so, and I've personally been harassed by the police there as well, but as one of you correctly pointed out, they really don't have a leg to stand on because I was shooting from a public access street. So after a quick ID check, just to make sure I didn't have any outstanding parking tickets, and a question session involving what I was doing and why, they did indeed say "have a nice day."

All that having been said (typed) I'm waiting on a response from the Governor's office. It will likely be from some aid who couldn't care less whether I get to take pictures or not, but at least I'm exercising my right to voice my issues with the way his police force is acting.

Happy shooting everyone.

Del
United States Navy submarine sailor turned aviation photography geek.
 
mcdonobr
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:30 am

Those few of you condoning Massports' right to harass aviation spotters/photographers and confiscate their equipment ought to read up on civil liberties and constitutional rights. Massport and local law enforcement is blatantly violating citizen's rights!
As it is not against the law to photograph aircraft, there is no justifiable reason for Massports' actions. It is a clear case of overstepping the legal boundaries. I have no problem with a law officer asking for ID and questioning my actions, but, once he has determined that I am not breaking any laws, it's time for him to move on.
This is America, Land of the Free, with the right to assemble in public areas. Federal taxes, airport taxes and fees paid by the traveling public, along with fees paid by airlines- most of whom's stock is owned by the public are what support and build the airports.
Having spent a large part of my life living overseas in totalitarian and dictatorial countries, I abhor some of the actions being taken in this country to whittle down civil liberties in the name of patriotism. Our founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they could read the flimsy half-ass procedures being used by the current administration and law enforcement personnel in the name of national security. Law enforcment personnel are paid to uphold and defend civil liberties, not trample all over them.
 
digital-cavu
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:37 am

Wow, Mcdonobr, well said.
United States Navy submarine sailor turned aviation photography geek.
 
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JeffM
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:04 am

Mark "nailed it" when he said.. " ..this is Massport's property and they can do what they want...

Unfortunate but true at almost ALL airports here in the U.S. That property is owned by the city/county and they CAN tell you not to take pictures. It is just like telling you not to park someplace on the property.


Jeff
 
digital-cavu
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 3:11 am

Jeff, last time I checked, Logan is a state operated, publicly funded, public access airport. There are private airports in the US. I've had occasion to fly in and out of them, but Logan isn't one of them. So this strong arm approach at fixing a non-issue like photographing civil aircraft is ludicrous and wrong. If I'm not breaking the law, why in the world would I even raise an eyebrow on the faces of the authorities? I appreciate your perspective, but I just can't agree with it.

[Edited 2004-03-27 19:13:18]
United States Navy submarine sailor turned aviation photography geek.
 
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JeffM
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:10 am

Del,
DIA is the same, but the state can make the rules for it's property. They will use the term, "in the public's best interest", to get around it.

I don't agree with it either, we are experiencing the same thing here.

Jeff
 
cathay112
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:52 am

"The land of the free" - A phrase that doesn't seem to apply anymore. I feel sorry for you guys that have this kind of thing happening to you. Irrespective of previous events it would be beneficial for the authorities to "move on" and realise that in most cases spotters/photographers are additional eyes and ears for them at airports. As for confiscating your equipment that is probably one of the most outrageous things I have ever heard, as is the ban on taking photos inside terminals and from carparks, it seems in this case the authorities are just using their powers for the simple sake of doing so.

Suggestion, move to Australia where we can shoot from anywhere and the security staff and police are more often than not incredibly friendly and understand our hobby!
 
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JeffM
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:55 pm

"...we can shoot from anywhere and the security staff and police are more often than not incredibly friendly and understand our hobby!

at least until someone blows up 3,000 of your citzens with an airplane....

 
ScottKBUF
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:07 pm

Quote from: Cicadajet

And, apparently, spotters have had a hard time in Buffalo on at least one occasion.

Shortly after 9/11 Danny and Terry were given hard times but recently nothing has ever happened. Personally, I haven't even been approached out there.
Buffalo, NY
 
cathay112
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RE: Boston Detention

Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:13 pm

Sorry Jeff, I forgot about that small detail. Terrorism is nothing new and any act of terrorism is regrettable. My point was that they realise that people on the outside CAN be of assistance much more than can be said for the authorities being referred to in this thread.

Remember this is a forum comprising of many people from many nations and the events of Sept 11 are not the only act of terrorism to claim large numbers of lives. Remember that this happens daily in other parts of the world.....

Perhaps your next post might be a little more constructive and a little more thought out.
 
digital-cavu
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RE: Boston Detention

Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:48 pm

Hey everybody...me with a correspondence update:

I wrote nearly identical letters to the TSA and FAA. And in a not-too-stunning response, each told me to contact the other. It must be nice to work in government where there's always someone else to pass the buck to.

Still no response from the Governor's office. But, that's to be expected, I'm sure his aids are trying to decide who they should point at.

Be safe all.

Del
United States Navy submarine sailor turned aviation photography geek.
 
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JeffM
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 12:02 am

Del,
Have you tried writing the Mayor's office? I would bet your airport is under the control of the city and county, which would be the Mayor's baby. I wrote a letter to our mayor, nothing came back directly to me, but things have been moving in a better direction overall. S L O W L Y, but still moving.

Jeff
 
ake0404ar
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 5:51 am

Del wrote:

I strongly urge photographers in the Northeast to write to MASSPORT using the Contact Us link on their website and ask them to reconsider the practice of harassing photographers.


Even if you write thousends of letters to Massport. They can do whatever they want. It is their property.
Go somewhere else, there are a ton of spots in and around Logan, where you can shoot. You don"t have to go up to the Parking Garage on Terminal B.

I had an encounter with the local police in Boston last night and they were very polite and professional. They checked my ID and that was about it.

No harm done. I don't mind if they get called over by some nervous neighbors, I have nothing to hide and I do nothing wrong.

Vasco G.






 
tpk
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:24 am

I have a hard time believing that there are spots outside of the Logan property that are as good for photography as the Terminal B garage. It would seem to me that shots from any other location would either require an extremely long (300mm+) zoom for full frame or would be of the bottom of planes taking off/landing. I can see how "spotting" from Castle Island, Winthrop, etc. might be ok, but in my experience, you can't beat the garage.

I'd love to hear some suggestions on alternate locations since it would be nice to take a photo trip back to BOS.



 
fireguy274
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:45 am

TPK if you are ever back in the area look me up. I have several shots uploaded here that are in the 70mm range. It all depends on the wind of course......Artie
 
tpk
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:52 am

Thanks, Artie. I definitely will. Most of my knowledge of Logan is several years old at this point since the last time I visited was June 2001 and back then there was no need to go anywhere else but within the airport property.

I grew up in Hartford so trips to Logan for me were a huge treat. I have a lot of fond memories of days spent there.

Best wishes,
Tim
 
Lindy
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:24 am


Vasco why should anyone move from the public place? You sounds like many people that don't give a damn about our hobby
"Go somewhere else..." You know how many times I've heard that from the local authority? I moved only twice, and it was right after 9/11. Since then I don't care what they say. I DONT DO ANYTHING ILLEGAL, I am on public property, if they don't like it that's too bad, I will leave my spot only in the back of the police car. But it wont stop my to lawfully pursue my hobby.
I would never give up my photo gear, they would have to arrest me first, but then I would raise a hell. They would heard about me on national TV, and newspapers. They would loose because I am right and they are wrong...

I don't mind if they check my ID, check if I have any criminal background, even search my car, but I would not let anyone harras me and tell me stories, that doesn't make any sense.

I'm just getting angry reading stories from BOS. 9/11 is no excuse for harrasing people at BOS.

Rafal

BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
fireguy274
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:33 am

Massport is an independent run public agency. It receives no state monies...Im not sure about how public their parking garage is...It can also be argued that a parking garage is to be used for parking and not for a picture taking platform...I agree it would be nice to take pictures from there, but Massport does have a say on whether we can or can not I believe...Artie
 
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JeffM
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:28 am

Rafal,

Keep a quarter in your pocket. And if you are going to raise that much hell, you better be damn sure you know exactly who owns the property you stand on when you raise it, or you just might screw the rest of us in the long run...

Just a thought.

Jeff
 
digital-cavu
Topic Author
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RE: Boston Detention

Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:31 am

Vasco, I've seen your photography and respect your opinion, if for no other reason than I know your familiarity level with BOS. But I have to admit that I'm less hesitant to happily move from the garage. And even if I were willing to happily move from the garage, the fact that MA state police have taken personal equipment is a HUGE statement regarding the violation of rights, due process, or any other flashy legal term that involves trampling the rights of citizens WHO AREN'T DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL. Against policy? Sure. Can they ask me to leave? Sure. Their property? Okay. But I say again, not illegal, and that's now we're being treated, as if we're doing something in violation of the law.

Also Vasco, when the police asked for your ID, did they indicate the reason for detaining you on what, I assume, was a public street? And though it may have only been momentary, you were indeed detained and questioned. Your cooperation was the right thing to do, but I would encourage to ask yourself why in the world you got the visit in the first place. Did the mother who was watching her child at the nearby playground get a similar visit? If not, why not? Was she doing anything less illegal than you? I know I'm being inflamatory and quite possibly acting like a big crybaby , but I'm just a little bit angry and frustrated.

Oh....and Fireguy, thanks for your response. I wondered if MASSPORT was indeed involved in security issues, and wrote them a letter some time ago. They indicated I should speak with the TSA...who of course recently told me to speak to the FAA, who recently told me to speak with the TSA. The never-ending, mind-numbing hampster wheel of governmental beaurocratic (spelling?) crap just makes this all the more intolerable. If I could just get a responsible adult to provide a semi-intelligent answer, or point to some clear policy, then a happy boy I would be. Instead, I've got federal agencies pointing at one another, airports authorities in other locations all too happy to develop simple photographer procedures whereby everybody is happy or can at least tolerate the situation, and still this unreasonalble focus at BOS on the benign act of taking a picture.

I know....I can bitch all I want, but it's not going to do me any good. I'll take Jeff's advice and write the Mayor, just to include him in this pitiful party.

Take care all....

Del
United States Navy submarine sailor turned aviation photography geek.
 
ake0404ar
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RE: Boston Detention

Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:15 am

Del,

who was saying anything about detention. They just came over because some concerned neighbors were calling that is all and you know what, I even understand it......the 400 f2.8 mounted on a tripod does not look like your ordinary typ of camera.......could be indeed a rocket launcher, from a distance who could tell. I have been checked out by various police authorities all over the world, just because of that lens.

Jonathan D said that they took a crucial piece of his equipment..... I would be interested in knowing why they took it and especially where he was when they took it! That is the key point here. So far JD has been pretty silent about this.

Lindy, I love this hobby but one thing you all have to realize, the world has changed ever since 9-11. It is actually getting worse not any better.
We all have to adapt to this new world and what's the point of arguing with the local authorities. They will win anyway, no matter what!

Aren't we a little narrow minded when condemming the action of Massport. Do you actually know the other side? (inside view of the Managment of Massport) no you don't and I don't know it either, but noone wants another 9-11 event to be happen again.

Vasco G.




 
Lindy
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RE: Boston Detention

Fri Apr 02, 2004 8:07 am

Vasco,

And because we take pictures, something like 9/11 might happen again?
It sounds that we (spotters/photographers) are at fault. That we did something wrong.
They had security problems inside of the terminal, not on the top of parking garage.
I don't think that you remember Flight 77 that departed from IAD.
Guess what, they also had security problems inside of the terminal.
IAD was out of our boundry only for about 2-3 months after 9/11, after that we just got frequent visits from the Police. They checked IDs and were on their way. Only twice I was ordered to leave (those two times I have meantioned above), but after those incidents we spoke to Washington Post reporter, who served as a communication center between Washington Baltimore Spotters Group and Airport Authority.
We've got what we wanted. No harassment from the police. Of course, they will come to us and check IDs but non of them will kick us out from the LEGAL and PUBLIC places that we take pictures from.

Here is part of the email I have sent to our group when I was approached by cops at DCA on Januray 17, 2004 - That day was code Orange.:


"I had little encounter with the cops at DCA last Saturday. I was
taking pictures at the usual location for over an hour (between AA
and DL gates) when I was approached by male and female cops. They
were from WMAA (not a TSA people). Here is how the conversation went:
Police: "Sir, what are you doing?"
Me: "Nothing, just taking pictures of the airplanes"
Police: "Sir, can I see your ID?
Me: "Sure"
Police: "Sir, I will have to ask you to leave the airport boundry.
You are engaging in ILLEGAL activity and soliciting on the airport
grounds"
Me: "I'm sorry Sir but I am not doing anything illegal and I'm not
soliciting. I am member of Washington Baltimore Spotters Group and we
have a deal with Tarra Hamilton (Spokeperson for IAD and DCA). She said that as long as we stay in the public places we can continue with our hobby.
Police: "Sir, please stand by for me"

Then he and his partner engaged in the conversation with somebody on
their radios.

5 minutes later -
Police: " Sir, I just spoke with my supperior and its ok if you stay
here and continue to take pictures. But next time please have any
proof that you can take pictures at this airport"
Me: "Do you want me to carry around Washington Post?"
Police: "Yes Sir, enjoy your hobby, have a nice day"

I wasn't rude to them or anything like that, but I stood my grounds because I was not doing anything illegal.

Because of this topic, last night I had bad dream that police at DCA confiscated my camera.  Smile
It just makes me angry that all problems in the USA goverment are blamed on 9/11.
Taking photographic gear from people and chasing people from public places will make us win that WAR ON TERROR.
Happy people in happy country......

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
fireguy274
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:15 am

RE: Boston Detention

Fri Apr 02, 2004 8:37 am

Lindy I do not think your looking at this from Massports perspective. When we photograph aircraft with the large lenses we use we look suspicious to the general public. This is evident because the police get calls all the time. If the public calls the police and says there is a suspicious person then they have to send resources to check this out...If there are no photographers on the parking garage and hence no people that look suspicious to the general public then they do not have to send resources to check it out. They can not stop you from taking pictures on a public street but they can stop you from being on their parking garage. I do not see what is so unreasonable about their actions here. I think if I were running Massport I would want to limit the airport to people who needed to be there. This includes workers and passengers and obviously people transporting the passengers. Try to look at this from a security standpoint and not a photographers or a spotters. I totally understand your frustration and everyone else's and I am not saying you should not have an opinion.. I would just like you to look at it from their perspective.......Stay safe Artie
 
User avatar
JeffM
Posts: 7569
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 3:32 am

RE: Boston Detention

Fri Apr 02, 2004 8:50 am

Rafal,

You sure do bitch a lot, but I have not heard of anything constructive from you. I would love to hear something similar to a solution for a change. I'm angry that someone used an airplane to kill thousands of people, not at the government for doing what it is supposed to....protect it's citizens. Those officers were just doing their job, thankless as it is. Try taking this hobby up in some other places around the world. Having your gear taken would be the least of your worries.

It is not what your doing (taking pictures), it is what you COULD be doing that raises eyebrows with TSA, Police, and Security. It is called a "Threat assessment". They have been done for decades on military bases where sensitive material or hardware is kept. The assessments are constantly being rewritten, and are specific to each airport. They can change almost daily. Zones are drawn on maps of the facility, and risk assessments are made for each zone. Different types of risks/threats are identified and given values. When a certain type of hazard or risk enters a zone, a predetermined response in identifying the risk is made. Different responses are also influenced by racial, political, and social demographics. What goes on behind the scenes is seldom heard publicly, and rightfully so. We (spotters/photographers) now seem to be on the list, or have been raised up to a higher level.

It sounds like the officers gave you an embellished version (..illegal activity..) of a predetermined response, to someone reporting your activity. You did the right thing by not responding rudely, and you were allowed to stay. Now I find it almost odd that I am not checked while out in the boonies or walking the rental car road with a black backpack and large lens mounted on a monopod.

Why doesn't someone think that is odd?


Good Luck Del, it has taken months for our issues to be raised to a sufficient level for someone to talk with us here in Denver. All the guys have been patient and I think will be rewarded for it.

Jeff

 
tpk
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2000 4:48 am

RE: Boston Detention

Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:35 am

As much as it makes me upset to think about, I can see that Massport has the right to tell people to leave their garage basically for any reason they so choose. I think the real issue is a simple one of communication. If it has been decided by airport administration, law enforcement, the TSA, or some other body, that photography is not allowed, why not put up signs that say that, or at the very least something like "no loitering". I've seen those in many places before - the roof of one of the garages at LHR comes to mind.
That way the policy that seems to have been clearly communicated to law enforcement will then have also been communicated to the public and each photographer can decide his actions accordingly. I think at this point, Del is struggling with the seemingly impossible task of getting someone to take ownership for the unspoken rules that are being enforced. It would be sad if a policy of banning photographers was indeed what was eventually communicated, but at least at that point it would be known.

In my opinion, the confiscation of any equipment would be an improper action by an officer and one that might only be warranted if a person were to not cooperate with the requests of law enforcement. People can say that their right to do this is covered by the Patriot Act, and maybe it is, but it's a sad state of affairs when the country I live in has laws that permit this sort of treatment of it's citizens.

Just as one last editorial comment, I find it interesting that other airports manage to have a police presence in their parking structures, etc, and are able to incorporate any necessary id checks into their normal rounds, but BOS has chosen a policy of outright intolerance. I have had many positive interactions in this type of situation with law enforcement in PHX and elsewhere.

I believe that this difference is 100% related to the fact that Massport was the scapegoat for the BOS originating 9/11 attacks and it seems like they won't ever be able to live that down. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at least some of the terrorists, potentially the ones with the "weapons", cleared security at PWM, not BOS. So for all we know there was never any security breach at Logan or anything that the authorities could have done differently. Public perception is worth a lot and since the perception is that something went wrong at Logan since this was allowed to happen, then something needs to be fixed. I believe that Massport has decided that a zero tolerance policy is the only way to avoid any future "you could have done more" accusations.

I'm not sure if I've added anything to the discussion, but I at least feel better having shared my opinions. Del, I also wish you the best with this and if I was still back in Hartford, I'd be right there with you hoping to work something out.

Tim
 
jderden777
Posts: 1677
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 9:56 am

RE: Boston Detention

Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:40 pm

massport and another MA state officer paid me a visit while i was on the ramp....yes, i was there legally....they took it from me because they wanted to make sure i wasn't taking photos of "sensitive areas"....told me i could go through massport to get it back but so far no luck...i'm still not giving up though....they need/are going to give it back to me before i'm done...

jonathan d.

"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
ake0404ar
Posts: 2386
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Boston Detention

Fri Apr 02, 2004 9:27 pm

Thanks JD for clarification. Wow, this does look different now, doesn't it......
Del, what are you gonna say now?

Sorry Jonathan, I think Massport and the MA State Police had a good reason to take (whatever piece of equipment) away. Not returning it after a while is another story.

Artie and Jeff summed it up pretty nicely! Way to go guys.

Before 9-11 we had no problems, taking pictures at Logan. People gave us a strange look when setting up those cameras. I had stood millions of times at certain streets in and around Logan, cops and State Troopers were driving by and not doing a thing ....nowadays it is all different.

Del I wish you all the best, but I see very little chances that you will succeed.
Good luck anyway!

Vasco
 
digital-cavu
Topic Author
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 9:11 pm

RE: Boston Detention

Fri Apr 02, 2004 10:40 pm

Tim mirrors my total mystification as to why BOS has taken a zero tolerance standpoint on photography. I don't discount they can take any stance they want. You're all right when you say they can create, implement, and enforce all the rules their little hearts desire. But as Tim points out, and I did as well on two other occasions, working with photographers rather than completely against them wouldn't be ground breaking. Tim noted PHX. I've noted MCO. Others have noted airports where a simple level of communication, notification and respect get everybody what they want or need. It seems to me they could turn 10% of the Terminal B garage upper level into an organized viewing area, charge a fee to cover the salary of a security person, and all would be well. But I recognize those are the rantings of someone who wants to take pictures, and from MASSPORTS perspective, I'm nothing more than an irritant who takes up valuable security assets who are required to investigate reports made my people passing by. I'm not sure I can agree with the fact that a cam with large lense looks anything like a weapon to anyone to takes the 3 or 4 seconds to look, but that too as with most of what's been shared here is a simple matter of opinion.

Vasco, you're probably right when you say I'll fail. One bitching, frustrated photographer isn't likely to get the attention of anyone outside of this discussion group, and while I don't agree with some positions taken, I respect you all for having and sharing your perspectives. As for JD's clarification, wouldn't a simple process of prior notification have saved everyone a lot of time and frustration? And what level of Congressional effort is it going to take before he gets his stuff back?

Still, for those who would like to have their equipment returned, or a simple dialogue opened up at Logan, I encourage you to reach out via letters and phone calls to see if you can find anyone willing to talk. The FAA, TSA, MASSPORT, the Governor, and the Mayor all have methods of contact, and while each may point to another office, at least you can say you notified them of your concerns. If you can get an audience, be assured I'll be there to support you and speak on our behalf.

Be safe out there!

Del
United States Navy submarine sailor turned aviation photography geek.
 
Lindy
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Boston Detention

Sat Apr 03, 2004 1:20 am

Hi All,

After few things cleared up I am calm  Smile I thought that the camera equpment was confiscated on the top of the parking garage.
Jeff and Artie, I fully agree with bouth of you, but as all of you know, this is a public place and MASSPORT should at least place some signs stating that photography at that location is prohibited.

Del, if you can't get thru to your local politicians, try local newspaper, talk to them and explain that we are with them, not against them.

I wont bitch anymore  Smile
Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
jderden777
Posts: 1677
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 9:56 am

RE: Boston Detention

Sat Apr 03, 2004 2:05 am

as for prior notification, i didn't have time as it was a spur of the moment type thing...i wasn't expecting to be able to go out there but i did....

regardless of whether i think they had a right to take it or not, they do need to give it back to me.

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
tappan
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 1999 9:30 pm

RE: Boston Detention

Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:52 pm

The time: 600PM
The place: Boston,MA
The crime: Photographing Airplanes
The particulars: I was with a famous a.net photog and he had a large Nikon lens and he was photographing the arrivals on Rwy 4 right when all of a sudden Boston's finest show up and said that they had received a call regarding 2 middle eastern looking men acting suspiciosly and photographing airplanes. We were let go after a few minutes (we had to show our Id's and answer a few questions that were asked by the nice gents).....
My photo partner was strip searched (just kidding)
True story
Mark Garfinkel
 
ake0404ar
Posts: 2386
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Boston Detention

Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:59 pm

How cool is that....almost the same thing happened to me that day.

The time: 600PM
The place: Boston,MA
The crime: Photographing Airplanes
The particulars: I was with a famous a.net photog and he had a large Canon lens and he was photographing the arrivals on Rwy 4 right when all of a sudden Boston's finest show up and said that they had received a call regarding 2 middle eastern looking men acting suspiciosly and photographing airplanes. We were let go after a few minutes (we had to show our Id's and answer a few questions that were asked by the nice gents).....
My photo partner was strip searched (just kidding)
True story
Vasco Garcia

 
deltairlines
Posts: 7042
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: Boston Detention

Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:20 am

I have personally talked to Phil Orlandella on this subject (for those who don't know, Phil is the Director of Media Relations at Massport). He says that spotting on the B garage is a no, but they don't care for Central Parking. He told me that they have received phone calls from "concerned citizens" and he told them that they are legally allowed to take photos and spot from Central Parking and they weren't going to do anything about it.

Anyway, I prefer Constitution Beach nowadays...it's much more relaxing if they use 22R/L, and you can't beat wading in the water and watching planes land right above you. This is the way to go in my opinion.

Jeff
 
tappan
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 1999 9:30 pm

RE: Boston Detention

Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:47 am

DeltAirlines,
Phil Orlandella--------> Great guy!

George W. Bush-------> Idiot!

MG

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