View Full Version : PVD/RIAC 8/28 & 9/20/08

2008-09-20, 11:15 PM
So that I don't get shooed away by local law enforcement I began a relationship with the RIAC (Rhode Island Airport Commission) last month (much like I have done with Massport for Logan) to spot around the airport grounds by requesting their permission to be in otherwise "sensitive" areas like perimeter fences, parking garages, terminal, and airport departure roadways. Since then I have spotted twice, once in late August and the other today.
My first encounter was on the parking garage in late August. I saw the officer approaching from the corner of my eye but opted to continue shooting the arrival anyways as though I didn't see him (I did have permission anyways). The officer came up beside me and waited for me to finish shooting before interupting me (unusual for them to wait). I've noticed with Massport that just because I obtain permission from people doesn't mean that all the employee's parousing the grounds know that I'll be around (which I don't expect them all to know but it often leads to a bad start to the encounter because they weren't made aware - so I was expecting the usual run-around routine).
The conversation went something like this:
Officer: Hey, how are you?
Me: Good - and yourself?
Officer: Pretty good, mind if I ask you why you're up here?
Me: Taking personal pictures - I got permission from the public affairs office.
Officer: Alrightly, can I see an ID?
[I produce my license and he calls it in the check out my story while letting me continue to shoot - a rarity]
A few minutes later he confirms it and we talk about my camera equipment and planes and other generic conversation and he wishes me a good night. It was the most pleasant airport-related police interaction I've ever had.

My second started yesterday when I emailed my contact in the RIAC about shooting for today. They instructed me to pick up a visitor pass from the airport police in the morning and that I might be able to garner ramp access with it - and that it would otherwise avoid any confrontations with town police when I was spotting from the perimeter fences. Apparently the airport police hadn't finished the background check necessary for the pass by the time I arrived early this morning - but I wasn't in any rush as I had already missed the two 722's (my main draw) by sleeping in too late :? . One of the officers accompanied me for the next half hour and we chatted about various things and had a most enjoyable conversation while waiting for the check to be finished. He tried to get me an escort for ramp access but discovered that due to new TSA rules I couldn't get out there without being a current worker (I discovered the same thing in ORH recently after a pilot offered to take me onto the ramp - something I've been able to do before - to shoot his C750 and he wasn't allowed to due to new TSA rules that started the day before). Anyways, I ran into the airport police and local Warwick police a few more times throughout the day and had pleasant interactions all day long - even before I produced the badge. Warwick approached me repeatedly as calls came in about me throughout the day (apparently a guy standing on the roof of his car with a huge camera pointed toward the airport along a well travelled road looks sketchy). But, they were very polite in approaching me and even moreso after I produced the badge and they checked me out. It was a tremendously welcome change.

A big thanks to PVD and Warwick RI's finest for being so polite and understanding and to the RIAC for making it possible to shoot without hassle.

flyboy 28
2008-09-21, 07:12 AM
Nice to hear, jerslice. I try and do the same thing at ABE over by the FBO. Depending on who's on the security shift, they even let me get on the other side of the fence.

It's always good to keep a positive reputation with the authorities. :)