Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Help please Ref Airband Scanner receiver usage in NYC airports

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    15

    Help please Ref Airband Scanner receiver usage in NYC airports

    Hi,

    With my spotting trip from 7th to 11th Feb .
    I was wondering if the usage of Airband Scanner receivers are allowed.
    The Scanner i use in the UK is a GRE PSR-282. If it is permitted can anyone advise which the most useful frequencies are used.
    I must remember to bring the headphones !!!!

    Still hoping to meet up and do some spotting with some of you, if you are available 8th to 11th Feb.
    As i will arrive on evening of 7th.

    Kind regards

    Tony UK

  2. #2
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    8,057
    There is no problem using a scanner to listen to traffic. You may get some odd looks from the general public (but you're a spotter, so you should be used to that) and if local law enforcement checks you out, you may get a question about it, but it is legal.

    For frequencies, an easy source is FlightAware. On the lower left, enter the airport code (KJFK for instance) and click on the "View Info" button. Select the Overview tab, and scroll down for the pertinent freqs.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    15
    Hi,

    That is great news. I will bring it with me.

    Regards

    Tony

  4. #4
    www.airnav.com also has a full list of frequencies
    Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

  5. #5
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Bronx, New York
    Posts
    6,028
    Please be aware that a SCANNER of ANY KIND is illegal in YOUR CAR unless you are parked somewhere (and even then I am not sure about it) unless you are a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (HAM) or a law enforcement officer. While I have never been challenged before, I would not take the chance if driving around, especially if you're visiting ;-)

    Here are the frequencies in my scanner. Mine are not OBJECT BASED as yours is (I use Uniden) but should be similar. Not sure what your style for listening is but, for me, if I am tracking one particular plane, I listen to secotr approach control and then change channels as the plane is handed off to Final control or the Tower... then to ground etc. Here is the setup for JFK in my scanner. Each group can scan between ITS frequencies... I can chain all groups together or listen to one group or one frequency by a simple button press as needed.

    Group 1 - Approach Control
    125.7 -------------- ROBER Sector (approcahes from the east)
    127.4 -------------- CAMRN Sector (Approaches from the North, West and South. Sometimes handles ALL traffic into JFK area depending on volume)
    132.4 -------------- Final Approach (not always in use, only if heavy volume and sometimes only to help ROBER sector. CAMRN usually handles all the way to 15 nm from airport and hands off the tower directly)
    Others you can program but will yield you very little if any value
    123.7 -------------- Departure (sometimes approach as well, rarely)
    118.4 -------------- Approach (never heard traffic on it, but it is listed on some guides)
    126.8 -------------- Old, never heard much on it
    134.35 ------------- Old, not much traffic either
    269.0 -------------- I ONCE heard Air Force 1 call in on this freq instead of the usual and Approach control quickly asked them to switch. However, I have also heard the C-17s call in (RARELY) on this freq and get handled properly. For all I know they may be simulcasting (not sure why they would or how becuase the radios on the C-17 are NOT that fancy) but given that they support the President, who knows...

    Group 2 - Tower
    119.10000 --------- Tower (4R/22L. 13L/31R)
    123.90000 --------- Tower (4L/22R. 13R/31L)
    125.25000 --------- Terminal Control Area (TCA) - Class B airspace
    281.55000 --------- Military (NEVER heard it being used)

    Group 3 - Ground Control and Clearance Del.
    121.65000 --------- Ground
    121.90000 --------- Ground
    348.60000 --------- Ground (Military, NEVER heard being used)
    135.05000 --------- Clearance Delivery
    130.77500 --------- IAT4 Ramp Control (FUN in the evening International Rush)
    130.77000 --------- IAT4 Ramp Control (FUN in the evening International Rush)
    130.27000 --------- Terminal 1 Ramp Control
    122.95000 --------- GAT Ramp Control (Actually all General Aviation traffic is on here other than tower or ground control)
    130.27500 --------- Delta Ramp Control
    131.85000 --------- Delta Ramp Control
    122.95000 --------- UNICOM (Same as GA)
    125.05000 --------- Gate Hold (WHAT THE HECK is this for? NEVER heard it used)

    Group 4 - ATIS
    128.72500 --------- Arrival/Departure ATIS

    Some of the airlines have discrete frequencies... but American and jetBlue have theirs on a Trunked System (separate) and I can get you those as well. However, I only have Programming Files for UNIDEN scanners, not GRE :(

    You're welcome to them anyway if you have a way to convert them...
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  6. #6
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia(south Jersey, actually)
    Posts
    3,278
    Manny...so it is OK to use a scanner in your car as long as you are in Park? As soon as I put it in D it's illegal? What's up with that? I have to get an amateur radio license to do that? (Can't hear sh*t on my scanner when the engine is running anyway)

    Tony- I was hoping to be able to hang out, unfortunately I will be attending a friend's funeral. I hope you have an enjoyable visit to NY!

  7. #7
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    8,057
    Quote Originally Posted by megatop412 View Post
    Manny...so it is OK to use a scanner in your car as long as you are in Park? As soon as I put it in D it's illegal? What's up with that?
    From Section 397 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Laws:

    A person, not a police officer or peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, who equips a motor vehicle with a radio receiving set capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use or knowingly uses a motor vehicle so equipped or who in any way knowingly interferes with the transmission of radio messages by the police without having first secured a permit to do so from the person authorized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or board of the city, town or village in which such person resides, or where such person resides outside of a city, or village in a county having a county police department by the board of supervisors of such county, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both. Nothing [contained] in this section shall be construed to apply to any person who holds a valid amateur radio operator's license issued by the federal communications commission and who operates a duly licensed portable mobile transmitter and in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the federal communications commission to duly licensed radio amateurs.
    The sticky part is the definition of "equips a motor vehicle..." Standing outside your car with the scanner is perfectly legal. Having a scanner mounted in your car is not. Sitting in a parked car with your portable scanner in your lap? Technically it *may* be illegal, but I've had PD check me out, with the scanner clearly visible on the seat next to me, and haven't had any issues when I told them I was listening to approaching aircraft. If it's clear you're listening to aircraft and not PD, you probably won't get hassled, but don't drive with the scanner cranked up (I usually toss it in my bag in the trunk) or make a show of using it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Bronx, New York
    Posts
    6,028
    Moose, before I had my HAM plates on my car, I have been pulled over by Police in NY (NYPD) with one of my MOUNTED scanners fully visible, STILL TUNED to NYPD HWY1 and SOD and blaring, and the officer just asked for the papers and ticketed me and nothing else happened. I also was questioned at the mounds once for a similar setup and I simply said "check the tags" and the officer was like "OK, never mind" so it is definitely vague.

    While I am sure nothing bad will happen, I felt it safe to inform the gentleman "just in case"
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  9. #9
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Bronx, New York
    Posts
    6,028
    Quote Originally Posted by megatop412 View Post
    Manny...so it is OK to use a scanner in your car as long as you are in Park? As soon as I put it in D it's illegal? What's up with that? I have to get an amateur radio license to do that? (Can't hear sh*t on my scanner when the engine is running anyway)

    Tony- I was hoping to be able to hang out, unfortunately I will be attending a friend's funeral. I hope you have an enjoyable visit to NY!
    William, as far as I know, that's the way it is... Interestingly, my license only ALLOWS ME to have the radio mounted/installed... it STILL DOES NOT allow me to listen to the police while moving... or maybe even while parked... The other law that is good to know is if a scanner is involved while committing a crime, the penalties are higher or more penalties can be levied or similar.
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    15
    Hi,

    I wont be renting a car, so it will be hand held or in my pocket with my headphones on.

    Huge thank you to all who have helped with my question.

    Regards

    Tony

  11. #11
    Senior Member Gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    4,851
    i always use my headphones when I am outside with the scanner!! Winter time is easy with the jackets and all and in the warmer weather I wear a nice long Polo shirt!! I almost brought my scanner to the UK when I visited London in 2011 but decided I wouldnt use it enough!!
    Enjoy your visit!!

  12. #12
    Administrator Landing Lights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wappingers Falls, New York, United States
    Posts
    515
    I use the LiveATC app when I'm driving around and the scanner while I'm taking photos. Typically, I will keep my scanner in my bag on my back and run my headphone wires out through the zipper. That way nobody knows what you're listening to and most would assume its a music player I think. I also keep my scanner to only aviation channels so that I can easily show that I'm not listening to law enforcement.

    To me, the key word that is subject to interpretation in Section 397 is "capable". Is a scanner without any law enforcement frequencies stored considered capable since the frequencies are technically within the bandwidth that the device can scan? For that matter, should a smartphone with a police scanner app (similar to the LiveATC.net app but for emergency or other frequencies) be considered capable?
    Ben Granucci, Wappingers Falls, NY
    NYCAviation Senior Editor & Director
    On Twitter @blgranucci
    More photos on Flickr
    [email protected]

  13. #13
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia(south Jersey, actually)
    Posts
    3,278
    Good question, I wonder if a smartphone with a liveatc app on it is considered a phone or a scanner

  14. #14
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Bronx, New York
    Posts
    6,028
    I don;t think a streaming app on an iDevice or Android device can be misinterpreted as a scanner per say but then again, likely it has not been tested in court.

    Listening to the police is PERFECTLY LEGAL even while you're next to one :-) Recently when AF1 came in for one of the many 2012 visits, I had my scanner blasting away next to plain clothes officers from NCPD (who were BTW the most professional ever) and actually they enjoyed listening to the scanner with us as AF1 finally came in. No issues. Had I been in a car, they could have technically arrested me and charged me :) go figure... so do not be afraid or overly cautious because THAT would seem more suspicious to me that you were trying to cover up something.

    Same thing at The Mounds... I have my scanner in full view and wave to the friendly NYPD officers when they drive by.. we regularly even have our scanners out and about ON TOP of our hoods when LEO comes over to pay us a visit at Costco or Panera... We have never had any issues.. .we simply mention it so you can be aware of the rules/laws etc. But we have yet to have a reported bad incident involving scanners.
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  15. #15
    Administrator Landing Lights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wappingers Falls, New York, United States
    Posts
    515
    Another great resource is radioreference.com. They list pretty much every frequency used. Doesn't have the same detail as Manny's list above though. For example, instead of 'CAMRN Sector' it will just say 'approach'.

    You could also go to LiveATC.net and type in the code there. They will list all of the frequencies and descriptions that they have available for the various feeds and sub feeds. I checked there a little while ago and what they have for JFK now is extremely comprehensive, including many frequencies for military using the airspace (there are 8 listed just for Marine One) and Boston, NY and Washington centers.

    One issue I have had in the past was that like in most parts of NYC, cellular data can be quite slow at times around JFK. So slow that it will cut off the feed from LiveATC.net through the smartphone app. I didn't notice much of an issue when I was out yesterday, but in the evening on a weekday, you might find yourself manually reconnecting a whole lot.
    Ben Granucci, Wappingers Falls, NY
    NYCAviation Senior Editor & Director
    On Twitter @blgranucci
    More photos on Flickr
    [email protected]

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •