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View Full Version : Spotting/photography a View from Scotland.



Glapics
02-02-2012, 06:06 PM
Hi Guys
Ive been reading the post in this section and from what I have read has made me a bit wary about spotting in the USA ,so I decided to post about how it is over here
In Scotland Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh have had some sort of Watch scheme going for some time ,at Glasgow I was involved in getting an understanding between the Police , the airport operator and the spotters. At first we were looking at a registered scheme where spotters and Photographers would register with the airport Police and would be issued with a ID card for our side. All that the police wanted was our eyes and ears. Unfortunately the id scheme fell through due to the unwillingness of the Police upper management.
Although this set us back we still continued with the Police, organizing meetings and getting to understand their job and the Police learning more about our Hobby ,this lead to myself and 2 other photographers along with Police and the head oF security taking a tour of the fence at Glasgow ,with us pointing out our favorite places to go along with areas we wouldn't go to so that the security and Police could easily spot potential problems and in turn Security pointing out areas were they would rather we stayed away from
The biggest test of this co-operation came when the G8 turned up at Prestwick , for months before hand we were helping secure an area that we could use, again pointing out places that we thought could be potential security problems for the Police.For our help the area called the mound was opened for us a great day was had by both the spotters and Police , at one time the spotters brought to the attention of the Police a security threat which they weren't aware of which was quickly dealt with (turned out some guys were repairing a roof of a near by building)
In general we have little if any problem with the Police at any of the Scottish Airports , they will occasionally stop and ask how things are going , what if anything special is coming in and have been known to stop and have a general chat with you ,Security again generally will leave you alone and will not bother you but there have been a few who have been more than jobs worth and a quick call to the airport Police has usually remedied the problem
Our biggest Problem has been Non airport Police , at anytime you can find several Police cars around ( they normally come down to the airport for their Breaks) and they don't know about our understanding with the airport Police but again a call to the airport Police station and everything is normally squared away.

Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports have set up watch schemes that give registered spotters Id cards,Prestwick has a unwritten agreement with the spotters similar to Glasgow.

If anyone is Coming to Scotland drop me a note and I will see if I'm working If Im not I will be more than happy to take you around the local airports Glasgow,Prestwick and Edinburgh

Regards Kevin

If you wish to read the letter that the Police sent to use click on the link and click on the navigation bar marked Gla Security info http://www.egpf.vze.com/

Zee71
02-02-2012, 07:10 PM
Kevin, thanks for a great write up! From my personal opinion spotting in the States isn't as bad as one thinks given the circumstances. It definitely can be a whole lot better. Unfortnately, we don't get the same kind of access and spotting views as many spotters outside the States have here. Some airports are more spotter friendly than others. Airport police/security and local police law enforcement varies depending what airport you're spotting at. For example, at LAX (Los Angeles, CA) I found law enforcement to be very knowledgeable and friendly towards spotters. While on the otherhand, law enforcement in the New York area lacks the understanding off what spotting is all about (although there are a few expections). I believe the more we show up and the more we educate the individuals the better it is for all spotters. I totally agree with being another set of eyes and ears for the law enforcement community. It would be beneficial to have a Spotters Watch Group here in the States, I can only hope that something like this happens in the future. Only time will tell.

The other thing is educating the general public here in the States that has a lack of understanding or no knowledge of what plane spotting is. They tend to stereotype spotters, and find it strange that an individual would want to photograph airplanes at a near by airport, while photographing at an airshow it's okay. The only difference in my view is that at an airport/air field it's an airshow every day!

NIKV69
02-02-2012, 07:19 PM
I found law enforcement to be very knowledgeable and friendly towards spotters. While on the otherhand, law enforcement in the New York area lacks the understanding off what spotting is all about (although there are a few expections). I believe the more we show up and the more we educate the individuals the better it is for all spotters. I totally agree with being another set of eyes and ears for the law enforcement community. It would be beneficial to have a Spotters Watch Group here in the States, I can only hope that something like this happens in the future. Only time will tell.

More than not understanding what we are doing is the fact they don't want to deal with the 10s if not hundreds of calls that start to pour in once civilians start to see us. Being in the part of the country where the public is more conscious about terrorism and with the "If you see something say something" mindset any spotter will raise the alarm. It seems the best way to deal with it is not to deal with it. Has it gotten better? Sure but I doubt it will lead to a UK style marriage here. Especially where the attitudes of law enforcement there and here differ greatly.