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Thread: Photographing inside and around JFK T3

  1. #1
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    Photographing inside and around JFK T3

    I'm a casual aviation photographer (read: noob) and was hoping all your collective knowledge might give me some guidance.

    I enjoyed the TWA open house last week. Sadly, I saw T6 next door being demolished. So when I got home I was curious as to what's happening with Delta's T3, the old PAA Worldport, and read it might meet its fate soon as well.

    So as luck would have it, I'm flying to South America on business next week and decided to fly Delta out of T3 in the hopes I could get some photos of the interior and exterior. I know there's plenty of photos online but I'd really like to get some of my own shots. And it seems there's a lot more interest in T3's history now with ABC's Pan Am airing.

    Also read the TSA's public statement about photography around security checkpoints, but I don't plan to take any photos in their vicinity anyway. So I guess this basically falls into PA and Delta's jurisdiction and would generally depend on who might notice or care.

    So what's the general feeling about photography inside the terminals, specifically, T2/T3? I see people taking cell-phone pictures in airports all the time, but I've never seen anyone have a run-in or be questioned. I'd like to shoot with a real camera, though, so it would be pretty obvious.

    If the general feeling is "don't do it", is there any way to obtain a permit or at least a letter from Delta, PA or airport management in advance?

    Many thanks!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Don't do it!
    Manny Gonzalez
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    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    There is unfortunately no wayt o obtain permission in advance. They will not approve it.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  4. #4
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    Does the PA really have a problem with people taking pictures inside the terminal?
    Steve Furst

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  5. #5
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    They have a rule that prevents it on airport property.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D. View Post
    They have a rule that prevents it on airport property.
    PA must have had a nervous breakdown with all those cameras clicking away during the TWA open house. The majority of people were shooting in/around Saarinen, but I saw a lot of people photographing from the parking garages and the jetBlue Skywalk. And Saarinen (and T3 maybe to some extent) are natural camera magnets any day of the week.
    Last edited by Braniff; 10-25-2011 at 11:36 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    Check this out from the PANYNJ website: http://www.panynj.gov/press-room/media-access.html
    Mark
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    My website: http://mbsphotography.smugmug.com
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  8. #8
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    Also read the TSA's public statement about photography around security checkpoints, but I don't plan to take any photos in their vicinity anyway
    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I seem to remember reading about a court case which said you can photograph TSA security areas all you want as long as you are not interfeering with them doing their jobs (or breaking another law in the process). Sort of like if you want to film cops making an arrest or what not.
    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav..._pictures.shtm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerslice View Post
    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I seem to remember reading about a court case which said you can photograph TSA security areas all you want as long as you are not interfeering with them doing their jobs (or breaking another law in the process). Sort of like if you want to film cops making an arrest or what not.
    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav..._pictures.shtm
    Yeah, according to http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav..._pictures.shtm there are few restrictions to photography around TSA checkpoints, but as I mentioned, I wouldn't be photographing in those locations and would try to avoid those areas in my viewfinder.

    So according to the link Mark provided in the previous post, photography at T2/T3 falls under Delta's jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the info there seems to mostly be geared towards press photography rather than the general public, but I guess I will try to contact them and see what they tell me.

    Thanks all!
    Last edited by Braniff; 10-25-2011 at 11:39 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    The PA have conveniently left their language just vague enough in that website to allow them to use a range of responses instead of being consistent. They "reserve the right" to restrict but many of us, myself included, have not been asked to stop taking pictures from inside the terminals. How many posts on here have provided coverage from inside the terminals?? So I take that as, 'if we fell like telling you to stop we will'.

  11. #11
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerslice View Post
    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I seem to remember reading about a court case which said you can photograph TSA security areas all you want as long as you are not interfeering with them doing their jobs (or breaking another law in the process). Sort of like if you want to film cops making an arrest or what not.
    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav..._pictures.shtm
    Unfortunately, a lot of cops and TSA agents don't have any knowledge of and/or respect for the law or general common sense, so it's still a best bet to avoid them at risk of having your day or trip ruined.
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
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  12. #12
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    So just to follow up on my post...

    I decided not to bother calling Delta or the PA to ask since it seemed way too much trouble.

    I arrived at T3 about 4 hours before my flight, checked in, went through security, and was able to get a lot of good pictures and no one bothered me.

    When I flew back, our plane parked at T3 Gate 2, so I got another round of photos in, despite the gloomy weather.

    The T3 saucer is still a cool place despite how poorly Delta has been maintaining it. If they're gonna demolish T3, they should at least try to preserve and integrate the saucer and just get rid of the expansion/rooftop parking building behind it.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    I thought the rule was you can shoot as long as you don't photograph any of the security checkpoints.


    Phil is that a written or unwritten rule?
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

  14. #14
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Well I don't know where Port's list of rules is of ANY kind, even non-photography related. All I can say is what I know...I have no links to share or send out on this.

    I have been told by several Port officials (management) that "photography on airport property is not permitted". I've also been told and have heard that they have a policy of discouraging aviation photography in general. They simply don't want it.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  15. #15
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D. View Post
    Well I don't know where Port's list of rules is of ANY kind, even non-photography related. All I can say is what I know...I have no links to share or send out on this.

    I have been told by several Port officials (management) that "photography on airport property is not permitted". I've also been told and have heard that they have a policy of discouraging aviation photography in general. They simply don't want it.
    How short sighted. Something else to bitch to Gov Cuomo about.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

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