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View Full Version : Very Recent JFK Incident at T6 Parking Lot



bonanzabucks
10-16-2012, 08:45 PM
I had an incident with Port Authority cops at T6's parking lot very recently. I went to JFK to meet a friend at the airport who was coming in on a flight from Boston. I arrived at the JetBlue terminal early. I saw that air traffic control was using the 22 runways, so I decided to go to the parking lot to check out the traffic. I got to the parking lot at around 5:35PM.


I was there for about fifteen or twenty minutes when at around 6PM, a black car arrived and a male and female got out of the vehicle. The woman asked what I was doing here and asked to see my ID. I asked if she was a police officer and she said “yes”. I asked if she could show me her badge and she yelled that she already said she was a cop and flashed it really fast. The guy didn't say or show anything. He just kind of cornered me. The woman asked if someone came to speak to me about being in the parking lot and I said I hadn't been there for that long, but that I noticed another male who got out of a small car, which wasn't a security vehicle, and was walking around the parking lot. I pointed out to the car and the other male, who was walking around at that time. The woman said that someone complained about suspicious activity. I then gave the woman my license. The male then asked me to stand still and said he was going to search me. I complied since he was so much bigger than me and he aggressively did a pat down. I even emptied out my pockets to show my cell phone and iPod, which I was not asked to do. He seemed satisfied and then the woman gave me back my ID. The male then said that they could give me a citation for trespassing, but that they would let me go this time. I told them I was unaware it was illegal to be there and wouldn't do it again. I asked if they were with the Port Authority and the woman gruffly said “yes”. I asked for their badge numbers, especially for the guy since he searched me and he never identified himself. The woman yelled again that she already said she was a cop, said her badge number really fast, then started walking away. While I was trying to jot the number on my phone, the man seemed really pissed off that I had asked in the first place and started yelling and demanded I hand over my ID again. I asked why and he told me to just give it. He said, “I'm going to give you a trespassing citation now because you are behaving like an *******.” I asked him why he was doing that since I was just about to leave and I only asked for the badge number, which is in my rights. He said that I had my chance, but he was going to give a citation anyways to make an example. He took my license again and gave it to the woman, who walked over to the car, but she didn't have the key and couldn't open it. She asked the man to unlock the door, which he did by remote control.


The man then told me to stay where I was and he took a few steps back and started playing with his iPhone. I tried talking to him and he ignored me, focusing on his iPhone. He then walked my way and again boasted that he would give me the citation. I asked what that means and he said I would have a criminal record and that he would then take me to the Joint Terrorism Task Force and they would check me out. I told him I was just watching the planes while waiting for my friend's flight. He didn't listen. He blurted out that since I had no parking ticket, I had no right to be there. Again, I said I wasn't aware of that it was illegal and I was just passing the time and I was going to leave like they asked. He spoke again and used some analogy that if someone went to my home to look at my flowers, I wouldn't like it and me being at the airport watching the planes was akin to the same. He went on saying that someone from my neighborhood being at the airport automatically amounted to suspicious behavior and used another dumb analogy that it was like if I was from the Bronx and I had no right to be at the airport. I told him I wasn't looking for trouble and I wanted my ID so I could leave and pleaded for him to return it. Again, he said wouldn't give it to me and he would write a citation anyways just because he could. He repeated that several times. Then he went on saying he could understand if I was watching the planes, but my story sounded suspicious. I said I was just doing that, watching the planes, while waiting for my friend's flight to arrive and I mentioned that I liked planes. He then asked my friend's name, flight number and arrival point. I gave him the information he requested. He said he was going to check it out with JetBlue to see if it was legit (he didn't check). Then he was asking me how I got to the parking lot. I said from the Airtrain. He said there was no Airtrain station here. I pointed out the JetBlue terminal Airtrain station, which was a few yards away and visible from our location. He ignored my answer. I then told him again that I wasn't approached by any security guard and didn't notice them driving around. His response was that there are security cameras all over the place and there don't need to be any guards, contradicting what the woman had said in the beginning. Then he walked back a few steps and played with his iPhone again. A few minutes later, he came back and asked me to unzip my jacket all the way so he could see my shirt (I did that before when he initially searched me). I started unzipping it and he started yelling that I had to do it faster and all the way. I complied with his instructions and after I was done, he walked back and played with his iPhone yet again.


In the meantime, the woman was at the car, but didn't appear to be inside. One of those private security vehicles had driven up and the woman was talking to whomever was inside for some time. She also spoke to that dude who was walking around the parking lot aimlessly. He took off after she spoke with him.


A few minutes later, two Port Authority cop vehicles arrived. Two uniformed officers exited one of the vehicles, while the other one stood idly by. Both uniformed male officers approached me and one of them started staring me down. I asked if there was anything he needed me to do to which he replied, “you tell me,” and smiled. He then said he was going to search me, at which point the female officer returned from the vehicle and said I was clean and that only had a phone and iPod. She handed me back my license. I offered to show the uniformed officer my phone as well, but he declined. The other uniformed officer spoke briefly with the male plainclothes officer, then turned to me and said that it was “illegal to watch planes now.” He mentioned that it may have been OK before 9/11, but not anymore. I then asked why they were holding my ID for so long and he said they wanted to run it through terrorism watch lists. He then sternly said he would not give me a trespassing citation, but I would have to leave. I said I was on my way and took off.


Throughout the whole ordeal, the male plainclothes officer (assuming he was even an officer) never identified himself, showed zero identification, nor did he acknowledge that he was a cop. He refused to say anything about his identity. It was him who was trying to escalate the situation more than it should have been and he seemed more interested in making a statement and asserting his authority than anything else. He was thoroughly unprofessional, threatening and rude throughout the whole ordeal even though I was cooperating and even volunteered information without being asked. It's possible he may have been with a different or even a federal agency, but this is unlikely considering his demeanor was more “ghetto” than professional. And if he was really worried about my presence at the parking lot, he wouldn't have been fooling around with his iPhone. He even took a few personal calls, so I obviously didn't scare him to the point where he needed to watch over me. The female officer was arrogant and rude, but she seemed to want to end the situation and move on. The uniformed officers were more professional and they could see the situation didn't warrant their time and wanted to move on as fast as possible. Overall, I'd say the whole experience lasted about 30 minutes.


I have heard there were police incidents with photographers and I can see how that activity might arouse some suspicion, but I wasn't even taking pictures and was just passing time by watching planes. There shouldn't be anything wrong with that. I also complied with everything they asked of me and was about to leave until the one officer wanted to assert his authority and act like a thug because I asked for the badge number. I have been told by others that although the Port Authority has no official rule where photography is not allowed on airport property, they go out of their way to discourage it. However, based on this experience, it seems they are discouraging ALL activity revolving around airplane enthusiasm


Also, I have left out key details, like date, officer description, etc. I made an official complaint to CCRB (they handle complaints for the NYPD, but they can escalate incidents with other local authorities to the respected police forces). I also called the PA's officer complaint line and left some messages and haven't heard back. I doubt I will. I don't know what they did with my ID information, but apparently no police force is allowed to save it electronically unless legal action is taken at that particular point in time, which didn't happen.

eric8669
10-16-2012, 08:59 PM
wow, that's crazy. sorry that happened to you. That's even worse then our 9/11/11 encounter at T5

yankees368
10-16-2012, 09:14 PM
This is disgusting, and inexcusable. I heard about this a few days ago, and checked out the 100+ page rules and regulations form the port authority posts. There is nothing that prohibits watching, or even photographing planes on their property.
Personally, I have had experiences with PAPD where the officer was very professional, but more often than not, they are total jerks.
Again, sorry about this overreaction by the PAPD.

Full Port Authority Airport Rules and Regs:
http://www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf/Rules_Regs_Revision_8_04_09.pdf

eric8669
10-16-2012, 09:28 PM
This is disgusting, and inexcusable. I heard about this a few days ago, and checked out the 100+ page rules and regulations form the port authority posts. There is nothing that prohibits watching, or even photographing planes on their property.
Personally, I have had experiences with PAPD where the officer was very professional, but more often than not, they are total jerks.
Again, sorry about this overreaction by the PAPD.

Full Port Authority Airport Rules and Regs:
http://www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf/Rules_Regs_Revision_8_04_09.pdf

why even post that, you know they just make it up as they go along.lol

you know what's funny, lets say three or four years ago on the port website they had a page dedicated to airport photos at JFK. The caption at the top of the page read. "If you didn't take photo's while you were at the airport, have a look at ours" The page was only taken down a couple years ago. So this pre/post 9/11 stuff is such a load of crap.

megatop412
10-16-2012, 09:40 PM
I'm not a person who starts trouble, and I support law enforcement's duty to protect the population through solid investigative methods. That includes complying with requests by police officers to produce ID and answer questions truthfully.

I'm glad you submitted a complaint. They were rude, unprofessional, and abusive, not to mention incorrect in their understanding/enforcement of the law. In a system of checks and balances, a complaint would(in theory) provide some transparancy.

Sorry you had to go through this. Most encounters do not go down so badly, but you handled it WAY better than I would have. I would have been absolutely indignant with someone trying to tell me that I can't watch planes after 9/11, and I would probably be in jail from my response.

These guys need to be sent back to the academy as they obviously played hooky the day the instructor said "Class, today we're going to talk about the difference between combating terrorism and hassling and intimidating innocent citizens"

Cary
10-16-2012, 10:21 PM
So, since it's illegal to watch planes now, if I'm waiting for my flight, and happen to glance at some planes taxiing around, will I get arrested? Am I allowed to look at the plane I'm about to board? Absurd.

Zee71
10-16-2012, 11:00 PM
Sorry to hear that you had to go through an experience like that. There is NO justified reason at all. These two officer's (especially the guy), should be investigated. In my opinion you have every right to ask to see their badges. I am so sick of us spotters always getting harassed and being labeled "suspicious". There aren't any kind of warning signs stating .... "No Photography Allowed", "No Looking at Planes", etc. on the permises. Not knowing the rules and policy by law enforcement doesn't help either, since they do appear the make up their own rules on the fly. I understand about them trying to discourage photography, but they have a lack of understanding about aviation enthusiasm. I am sure it would have been totally different if a father was there with his young son or daughter looking at planes (so now we are sterotyped). Please don't give up your passion for aviation (which to me is like giving up your freedom)!

moose135
10-16-2012, 11:19 PM
So, since it's illegal to watch planes now, if I'm waiting for my flight, and happen to glance at some planes taxiing around, will I get arrested? Am I allowed to look at the plane I'm about to board? Absurd.

You'll have to wear a blindfold when you get to the terminal.

ISP Pilot
10-16-2012, 11:32 PM
Wow, just wow! My question is if one is not a suspect or under arrest, is one required to produce id, answer questions or submit to a patdown? It certainly was a tense situation but I would not have submitted to a patdown. Whether required to or not, answering what I was doing there and maybe producing id is as far as I would have gone.

Roush6NY
10-17-2012, 08:49 AM
I can only imagine how they would have acted if he had a camera on him ... What makes me sick is how law enforcement abuses their power, I respect them, I obey their rules but there is a line that has to be drawn somewhere. I am just gonna stop here and shut my mouth!

Sorry you had to go through this pal

megatop412
10-17-2012, 08:51 AM
By the way, I carry this in my camera bag and maybe others want to do the same. It's just a little 'reminder' to the authorities about what they're already supposed to be aware of.

I haven't had to use it yet.

http://www.thejoekorner.com/nypd-photo-ok-letter.shtm

yankees368
10-17-2012, 09:53 AM
By the way, I carry this in my camera bag and maybe others want to do the same. It's just a little 'reminder' to the authorities about what they're already supposed to be aware of.

I haven't had to use it yet.

http://www.thejoekorner.com/nypd-photo-ok-letter.shtm

Sadly, the PAPD isn't bound by the NYPD rules. For what it's worth, I have never had a bad experience with any other law enforcement agency, including the NYPD, NCPD, as well as other agencies across the country. PAPD is unique in how unprofessional they are.

megatop412
10-17-2012, 12:00 PM
Sadly, the PAPD isn't bound by the NYPD rules. For what it's worth, I have never had a bad experience with any other law enforcement agency, including the NYPD, NCPD, as well as other agencies across the country. PAPD is unique in how unprofessional they are.

To the "well we aren't the NYPD we're the Port Authority, I don't give a damn about your piece of paper" will come my response "this memo supports the fact that what I am doing is not illegal, regardless of what jurisdiction I'm in, you can only ask me to leave and that I will certainly do if you wish". Whether they place the cuffs on me for being a "smartass" at that point is up to them, but they will be reminded about the large settlement I will get as well as the reprimand letter they will get once I get through raising hell about it. The Revolutionary Guard has openings for them if they want to act this way.

gonzalu
10-17-2012, 01:21 PM
I am sorry but, entertaining ANYONE without proper identification themselves is just plain silly. As a matter of fact, and Jason may correct me here, if you claim to be a police officer when you aren't really one is illegal...

The first thing a police officer should do is properly identify themselves with ID, not even a badge will be sufficient unless you are in full uniform. What can I say... silly to even have more than a casual thank you very much have a nice day, sir! :smile:

Zee71
10-17-2012, 02:30 PM
A side note: I work in an environment that is strictly driven by regulations, policies and procedures just to name a few. I want to see the written word that states all this illegal hullabaloo of photographing or looking at planes. If I don't see the written word it may be likely made up or they don't know. I am done!

yankees368
10-17-2012, 03:10 PM
A side note: I work in an environment that is strictly driven by regulations, policies and procedures just to name a few. I want to see the written word that states all this illegal hullabaloo of photographing or looking at planes. If I don't see the written word it may be likely made up or they don't know. I am done!

You can't see it, because such a rule does not exist but for the officers head.


I am sorry but, entertaining ANYONE without proper identification themselves is just plain silly. As a matter of fact, and Jason may correct me here, if you claim to be a police officer when you aren't really one is illegal...

The first thing a police officer should do is properly identify themselves with ID, not even a badge will be sufficient unless you are in full uniform. What can I say... silly to even have more than a casual thank you very much have a nice day, sir! :smile:


Pretty sure that is a felony, even.

bonanzabucks
10-17-2012, 03:12 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks a lot for your encouragement and support! It means a lot. I won’t be commenting on this further because the PA is looking into this and it isn’t wise to comment on an open investigation.

Thanks again!

Cary
10-17-2012, 03:17 PM
Well, unfortunately, sometimes these things won't ever change until someone opens a lawsuit. Some of you might be familiar with Washington DC spotter, Jerome Vorus, who was detained twice for taking pictures - the first at DCA, and the second while taking pics of a traffic stop. Although I believe the lawsuit centered around the recording of law enforcement in the second instance, Jerome won the case, and the Metropolitan Police Department had to clarify that it was perfectly legal to record law enforcement, as long as it didn't interfere with their duties. Here are some links regarding the incidents and lawsuit:

http://reason.com/blog/2012/07/23/dc-police-officially-declare-photography
http://www.pixiq.com/article/dc-photographer-detained-twice-in-four-months-for-taking-pictures-of-cops
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/metro/caught-with-a-camera/

I don't mind law enforcement checking me out and asking some questions, but when they start spouting off fake laws about watching or taking pics of airplanes - or [Elizabeth PD] yelling at me to leave from a public area, it becomes ridiculous.

gonzalu
10-17-2012, 04:07 PM
Mark and I have experienced this during UN week a year ago when a VERY POLITE and PROFESSIONAL Nassau County PO asked us to not take pictures at North Woodmere. When I challenged him, he could not really offer a real violation and only that he was asked to tell folks not to photograph due to UN week security while seemingly others were allowed to stay and fish in the public grounds. Lucky for him they switched from the 4s to the 31s and so we left but the officer was well aware that our civil liberties would be violated. We had a friendly discussion on the subject and he appreciated us politely complying and leaving.

I am not about to start an argument or endanger our hobby but it is always wise to politely and courteously challenge these encounters and at the very least always ask what laws are being violated, state that it is legal to take pictures in public places of publicly visible things as long as they are not in a known off-limits list such as US Military Installations or I believe also Nuclear Power Plants are off limits now... and I really don't care about taking pictures of Cooling Stacks... :tongue:

Now, what if I like taking pictures of clouds and blue skies and a plane gets in the way? Would my rights as a cloud and blue skies lover be protected by the officer?

BTW, you have seen this, right? It is an absolute must read :tongue:

http://www.apath.org/creating_religion.html

PhilDernerJr
10-17-2012, 04:14 PM
I love how everyone is offering this enthusiast that many of you haven't met, so much support.

I'm writing something up that will be live on the site soon. As mentioned already here, there is no OFFICIAL rule from PANYNJ about photography or planespotting, and the lack of guidance is what leads to treatment like we see here. It is not acceptable, and though calling for an official rule from them may end the use of certain locations, I want to see an end of spotters being treated like we are a criminal threat, and harassed and insulted by people whose salaries we pay.

yankees368
10-17-2012, 04:20 PM
I love how everyone is offering this enthusiast that many of you haven't met, so much support.

I'm writing something up that will be live on the site soon. As mentioned already here, there is no OFFICIAL rule from PANYNJ about photography or planespotting, and the lack of guidance is what leads to treatment like we see here. It is not acceptable, and though calling for an official rule from them may end the use of certain locations, I want to see an end of spotters being treated like we are a criminal threat, and harassed and insulted by people whose salaries we pay.

I don't have a problem with the PA creating a rule banning photography on their property. If one is created, so be it. What we all should have a problem with, is their offers and employees making up law as they go, which is unacceptable. I support anyone who was harassed by a PAPD officer.


Mark and I have experienced this during UN week a year ago when a VERY POLITE and PROFESSIONAL Nassau County PO asked us to not take pictures at North Woodmere. When I challenged him, he could not really offer a real violation and only that he was asked to tell folks not to photograph due to UN week security while seemingly others were allowed to stay and fish in the public grounds.]

Was that this year? If not, that happened this year as well. A new parks employee at NW Park called the police, and a NCPD officer rolled down to talk to us. After we had a little chat, he said he knows it's not illegal, finish what we were there to do, and he wouldn't kick us out. How nice is that?

gonzalu
10-17-2012, 04:23 PM
"Hello ma'am ... I understand you're just walking with your baby on a nice summer day. Please finish what you are here to do and I won't have to kick you out..." how nice is that?

megatop412
10-17-2012, 04:27 PM
Phil I was going to ask if you wanted to jump in on this topic but didn't want you to feel like your position obligated an official response so I bit my tongue. That said, thanks in advance and I/we look forward to your advice.

Zee71
10-17-2012, 04:36 PM
I am sure you are all aware there were plane spotters during World War II. So plane spotting shouldn't be illegal because the US Government sanctioned it. Here is an interesting link about spotters during WW II

http://www.colebrookhistoricalsociety.org/PDF Images/Air Spotters of WWII.pdf

Gerard
10-17-2012, 05:44 PM
From one of my threads, I hope PAPD doesnt see this :tongue::eek:

......http://rt.com/usa/news/lapd-suspicious-photo-sar-553/

bonanzabucks
10-17-2012, 06:56 PM
I love how everyone is offering this enthusiast that many of you haven't met, so much support.

I'm writing something up that will be live on the site soon. As mentioned already here, there is no OFFICIAL rule from PANYNJ about photography or planespotting, and the lack of guidance is what leads to treatment like we see here. It is not acceptable, and though calling for an official rule from them may end the use of certain locations, I want to see an end of spotters being treated like we are a criminal threat, and harassed and insulted by people whose salaries we pay.

Thanks so much, Phil. I really appreciate the kind words and support and it does make me feel better, although I am still feeling really let down because I really did have a lot of respect for the Port as an organization before and even applied for several jobs there.

Like I said, I can't say anything more because the Port is actually going to investigate this.

Once again, thanks for the support. This is truly an awesome community and I hope to meet many of you guys soon at a NYCaviation get-together.

megatop412
10-17-2012, 07:23 PM
I am sure you are all aware there were plane spotters during World War II. So plane spotting shouldn't be illegal because the US Government sanctioned it. Here is an interesting link about spotters during WW II

http://www.colebrookhistoricalsociety.org/PDF Images/Air Spotters of WWII.pdf

Interesting you should bring that up Mark, as my father was one of these folks that was trained to be a spotter in his days with the Coast Artillery before migrating over to the AAF and being sent to Europe. More on that, along with some recently scanned photos, for an upcoming Veterans Day thread

snydersnapshots
10-17-2012, 10:36 PM
I am sorry but, entertaining ANYONE without proper identification themselves is just plain silly. As a matter of fact, and Jason may correct me here, if you claim to be a police officer when you aren't really one is illegal...

The first thing a police officer should do is properly identify themselves with ID, not even a badge will be sufficient unless you are in full uniform. What can I say... silly to even have more than a casual thank you very much have a nice day, sir! :smile:

The whole thing smelled suspicious to me. My suggestion in a situation where two people who claim to be police officers yet refuse to properly produce ID would be to call 911, tell them where you are, and that you have two people claiming to be police yet refusing to show ID in a manner that you may inspect it. Request that they send a uniformed officer in a marked car. This way, if they are not cops, you're going to get legitimate help in a (hopefully) timely manner. If they ARE cops, then they will hopefully learn the error of their ways. Plus, you have the 911 recording to back up any claims you have should you decide to make a complaint or press some kind of charges down the road.

How can they fault you as long as you're polite? They can't say you're resisting or putting up a fight; after all--you're calling the police! If they are cops, they don't even need to call for reinforcements--you're doing it for them.

On a personal level, I always carry a camera when I fly. Next time I go to JFK, you can bet that while I'm doing my preflight walk around, I will have my D300 with me and make liberal use of it on the ramp. I'd love to get stopped...

Mateo
10-17-2012, 10:59 PM
It's very telling and somewhat sad that none of us are surprised at the actions of the Port Authority Police.

As per the ID question - there was a Supreme Court decision about 5 years ago, someone vs. Nevada, regarding when you had to show a police officer ID. There are limited exceptions, but generally, yes, you have to.

The other legal distinction is that when you're being questioned by police, you are in one of two states. You are either under arrest, or you are not under arrest. There's nothing stopping you from asking the officer "am I free to leave?" If yes, you can turn heel and walk away. If no, then you are under arrest, and subject to the protections given to you in Miranda, which means you don't have to answer anything else, although you might not make your friend's pickup (but will probably enjoy later suing the Port for arresting you without reasonable suspicion).

PhilDernerJr
10-17-2012, 11:38 PM
The whole thing smelled suspicious to me. My suggestion in a situation where two people who claim to be police officers yet refuse to properly produce ID would be to call 911, tell them where you are, and that you have two people claiming to be police yet refusing to show ID in a manner that you may inspect it. Request that they send a uniformed officer in a marked car. This way, if they are not cops, you're going to get legitimate help in a (hopefully) timely manner. If they ARE cops, then they will hopefully learn the error of their ways. Plus, you have the 911 recording to back up any claims you have should you decide to make a complaint or press some kind of charges down the road.

Word for word what I was going to say. Great points.

Chris102
10-18-2012, 12:02 AM
On a personal level, I always carry a camera when I fly. Next time I go to JFK, you can bet that while I'm doing my preflight walk around, I will have my D300 with me and make liberal use of it on the ramp. I'd love to get stopped...

I got yelled at by a ticket agent for taking a picture on the ramp in Chicago once. I was told that "photography of the aircraft is illegal, sir!"

Landing Lights
10-18-2012, 06:59 AM
The other legal distinction is that when you're being questioned by police, you are in one of two states. You are either under arrest, or you are not under arrest.

I am not of a law enforcement background, but to the best of my knowledge there is a third state in which you can be "detained" for investigation. In those situations you are not free to leave but you also have not been charged with a crime. This would be similar to being pulled over in a traffic stop. You are definitely not free to leave, but you also may not be charged at the conclusion.

Watching this week's episode of Airport 24/7: Miami, I heard a troubling comment from MIA's director of security. Basically she said that if you're not getting on or off a flight or picking up/dropping off a passenger on a flight, then you have no business being at the airport. Now she was speaking in regards to individuals who were coming to the airport to steal luggage, wallets, etc, but the generalization that there is no other reason to go to the airport was still disturbing. I totally understand that the enthusiast community is a small fraction of the total number of people who come to an airport on a daily basis, and also that enthusiasts are often misunderstood by the general public. However, for a person in such a position of responsibility to define who should and should not be on airport grounds so narrowly is a bit disturbing.

As for this situation, police work requires strict adherence to procedures. Failure to do so can result in both situations like this as well as situations where charges were dismissed. Look at the DWI case against former FAA Administrator Babbitt, where the charges were dismissed because the officer had "no good reason to stop him." There are some very serious violations of procedure apparent here, and I am glad that PAPD is investigating. As troubling as this incident is, and it is very troubling, as best I can tell it is this type of situation that leads to greater understanding within law enforcement of the enthusiast community as it forces the agency to clarify within its ranks what is allowable and what is legal. Hopefully the officers involved get the necessary remedial training to avoid another situation like this.

NYCA News
10-18-2012, 08:11 AM
NYCAviation:

Time for New York’s Port Authority to Admit It Doesn’t Like Photographers (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/nycaviation/~3/EcapN5Q6T4U/)

Firm rules about planespotting at New York's airports will help reduce police harassment and confusion among aviation enthusiasts.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/nycaviation/~4/EcapN5Q6T4U
[Click to Read Full Article (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/nycaviation/~3/EcapN5Q6T4U/)]

hiss srq
10-18-2012, 08:55 AM
Manny, give me a shout when you get a chance, I sent you my number. Secondly, I really thought we had some headway going with Port and from some accounts, we did. I guess some more communication needs to be had. I'm pretty bummed about that and wish you had my contact information when that happened. Some of it is officers that are not totally exposed to us as spotters and some of it is because the aviation infastructure of the port is soo expansive that with a force as small as Port's it's easier for them to just turn the light switch off so to speak, I know many many officers personally and they are aware of our organization and the art of spotting and they support it, surely they will do due dilligance if there is a call of concern but this event seems to be one that went awry. I wonder if this is anyone I know.

Braniff
10-19-2012, 12:48 AM
Watching this week's episode of Airport 24/7: Miami, I heard a troubling comment from MIA's director of security. Basically she said that if you're not getting on or off a flight or picking up/dropping off a passenger on a flight, then you have no business being at the airport.

I caught that and it bothered me too. The land on which JFK sits is owned by the City of New York, hence public property. The Port Authority itself is just a bi-state agency run by NY and NJ. I'm not a lawyer, but unless you're interfering with operations, causing harm, or just loitering for the sake of loitering, you have the right to be there, at least outside the terminals. The terminals themselves are operated either by individual airlines or a management company (like T4's JFK-IAT) so standing around or photographing inside the terminals is really at the discretion of the operator (and I believe that they employ private security firms of their own choosing, although PAPD do patrol inside the terminals I imagine.)

The only thing I can find on the PANYNJ's website regarding photography is on http://www.panynj.gov/press-room/media-access.html

Click on the "Videotaping/Photographing at Port Authority Facilities" tab and scroll down past the list of terminals where it says:

The Port Authority reserves the right to restrict videotaping and photography at its airports.

My first question would be, do they have the legal right to restrict videotaping/photography on a public facility in the first place? If somehow they do, that wording means that right can be enforced anywhere, anytime and at anyone's discretion within airport property (presumably only outside the terminals.) Unfortunately, that is what will cause all kinds of ambiguity and "gray area" encounters with PAPD, rent-a-cops, and undercover agents (to me the people who arrived at the scene of this incident smack of some kind of contracted security firm - FJC or some other outfit, which if true, explains why they were so reluctant to identify themselves.)

It's been said so many times that you can pretty much case JFK or any airport using Google Maps, Bing Maps and Google Street View. Plus, there already thousands of photographs of JFK. What do they really expect to accomplish in harassing people when all that information is already out there?

This guide was written by an attorney and outlines your basic rights to public photography. Seems to be a pretty good reference.

http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf

Earlier this year the PA hired former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff's security consulting firm, The Chertoff Group, to do a complete review of security operations at the PA. It seems the PA knows their security operations has been fractured and uncoordinated for some time. They are planning to open a new Chief Security Officer position (or have already) and revamp their security operations, including new bids for outsourced security. Currently FJC is still the primary private security firm on the premise, though that may change. Hopefully a more unified and coordinated security team will put an end to the ambiguity surrounding photography at PA airports....but I have my doubts.

For some more interesting reading:

http://www.panynj.gov/press-room/press-item.cfm?headLine_id=1554

http://www.securitydirectornews.com/public-sector/ny-port-authority-hire-cso-overhaul-security-operations

NIKV69
10-19-2012, 02:46 AM
Phil your article is pretty confusing. Have you had any sort of conversation with the PA officially? Talked to anyone in a higher up position? It's clear that they would rather run us off than face the many phone calls they get when we are spotted practicing our hobby but you article is a reach. Also calling them out to either accept us or ban photography all together on airport grounds is incredibly foolish. Be careful what you wish for.

I have spoken about losing spotting locations and we have lost some already. Spotting on the garages shouldn't be another one. I advised to use these locations wisely when they began to get popular. Do I like the treatment we get from some of these badge heavy PA officers? Of course not, but to risk losing such a prime spot is downright dumb. Instead of publishing articles like this that contain ultimatums you should try to get a positive relationship with someone at PA that can actually accomplish something other than banning us altogether.

PA is never going to go for an airport watch. Let's face it and move on. We could however establish a relationship that allows us access and some better treatment. Maybe using your position with this site could be better served in that way instead of publishing open letters that resemble a pissing contest.

This seems to be the knee jerk reaction every time someone has a bad run in with PA, it gets us nowhere.

McG
10-19-2012, 08:42 AM
PA is never going to go for an airport watch. Let's face it and move on. We could however establish a relationship that allows us access and some better treatment. Maybe using your position with this site could be better served in that way instead of publishing open letters that resemble a pissing contest.

Nik, it sounds like your looking for something similar to the scheme that is run down in Houston, where to spot from certain locations, the individual has to contact the airport security on a given number and provide them with the following details:

Who you are
Where you will be spotting
What kind / color of car you are driving
What time you will be out there
How long you plan to stay
What you will be doing (taking pictures, just spotting, etc)

At IAH, this is predominantly for the parking garages and a few other locations, like the cargo centre. Security log your details, and then you are normally free to go about your business. Security and the PD also do regular patrols of the parking lots at IAH, and as long as you have provided details to security over the phone previously then they don't normally bother you.

Mark

megatop412
10-19-2012, 09:16 AM
Phil your article is pretty confusing. Have you had any sort of conversation with the PA officially? Talked to anyone in a higher up position? It's clear that they would rather run us off than face the many phone calls they get when we are spotted practicing our hobby but you article is a reach. Also calling them out to either accept us or ban photography all together on airport grounds is incredibly foolish. Be careful what you wish for.

I have spoken about losing spotting locations and we have lost some already. Spotting on the garages shouldn't be another one. I advised to use these locations wisely when they began to get popular. Do I like the treatment we get from some of these badge heavy PA officers? Of course not, but to risk losing such a prime spot is downright dumb. Instead of publishing articles like this that contain ultimatums you should try to get a positive relationship with someone at PA that can actually accomplish something other than banning us altogether.

PA is never going to go for an airport watch. Let's face it and move on. We could however establish a relationship that allows us access and some better treatment. Maybe using your position with this site could be better served in that way instead of publishing open letters that resemble a pissing contest.

This seems to be the knee jerk reaction every time someone has a bad run in with PA, it gets us nowhere.

Nick, I remember you had said a lot of this in the past and I understand your reasoning. Problem is, you can't lose what you don't got. We never 'had' the parking garages, it has always been a toss-up, with most of the interactions going better than what was recounted in this thread. And even if the PA were to see Phil's letter and decide to 'respond' with 'photography will no longer be tolerated on airport property', that's already in their rulebook anyway(see the earlier post referencing it), it's just that it's being selectively enforced.

It's upsetting that you see Phil's actions as foolish, because the way I see it, the PA has no right to treat people with disrespect like that. I don't give a good damn who they think they are, that is UNACCEPTABLE, whether you're spotting or not. It's offensive to even consider not taking a stance against what happened. We have an obligation to say to the PA, 'hey your people stepped WAY over the line here, and they need to be retrained'. I will not take kindly to any more of a police state being foisted upon me than already has been. And I'm not supporting Phil just to win points with him because he runs this site; I agree because it's what's right, putting basic human decency above our need to photograph aircraft.

Maybe the letter will result in a more restrictive atmosphere for us. Maybe someone will end up getting arrested and have to bring this thing into court, like the train situation did. That seemed to end with a positive outcome: a memo by NYPD top brass advising(reminding, really) all staff that PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY.

yankees368
10-19-2012, 09:46 AM
Here's what it boils down to. I agree with Phil in that an official rule concerning photography must be established. As to the previous poster who says we will lose the garage, well, we get booted off and yelled at already, so there is nothing to lose.
The issue stems from the fact that the PA has a 100+ official rule and regulation guide, where "photography" is not mentioned once. As for the PA website posted above, that is more of a media listing, not for the everyday person. Nevertheless, it says "The Port Authority reserves the right to restrict videotaping and photography at its airports" but not that they have exercised that right. This isn't mentioned anywhere in their official rules listing.

bonanzabucks
10-19-2012, 12:46 PM
Before I posted here, I searched the net to see if there were similar stories. There was one where the Port gave two guys at EWR a trespassing citation for photography. I can't find the link. One of the guys posted and said that the judge dismissed it in the end. Anyone hear about this incident? I think it was within the last year or so.

Braniff
10-19-2012, 02:26 PM
Couple more things I wanted to mention, and I apologize for the somewhat disjointed writing. It's tough to organize this clearly.

Regarding my earlier post about the blurb on the PA website about photography, I realize that it is likely posted with respect to commercial photography and the media, but my point was that it is the only place I've seen the PA publish anything about photography and video anywhere, and I'm sure they'll try to leverage it somehow given the chance.

But let me play devil's advocate here for a minute.

The issue with being on public property for any reason other than having official business has come up before in several court cases, including one going back to 1992 involving the PA. The issue is that even though a government-owned (city, state, federal) or operated airport is public property, there may be limitations depending to what extent the property has been deemed a public forum. In other words, not all public property is freely accessible at all times.

For example, public schools are public property, but generally forbid anyone from being there unless they are a student, parent, guardian, faculty, or otherwise authorized to be there. Courthouses are public buildings, but have restrictions on photography in certain areas. Military installations are on public land, but generally forbid photography at all times.

I made mention in my earlier post of the distinction between land-side airport property (i.e. streets, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.) and the actual terminals. As soon as you step foot inside a terminal, your rights change. Your rights are definitely strongest while you are land-side (parking lot, street, sidewalk, etc) because those areas are generally unrestricted to the public. But while you may have a strong defense if you get hassled in the parking lot, terminals are more restrictive in the sense of no longer being a completely open public forum. Although the terminal buildings at PA airports are technically owned by the PA and considered public buildings, they are operated by individual airlines and/or private companies, so your rights inside them are no longer as free as being completely public. In that case, you can be asked to leave if you aren't there for a legitimate travel or business reason. I don't want to mention the TSA here, because when TSA incidents are mentioned, generally they involve passengers who are in the terminal presumably to travel anyway.

There's another issue at play here, in that while the property might be managed by the PA, once you step or point your camera air-side (and someone correct me on this if I'm wrong) but you are then also under the jurisdiction of the FAA. The FAA has clearly stated that it has no rules banning photography.

So to confuse legal matters more, you are standing on public city property managed by a local government agency while you are taking photographs of aircraft under jurisdiction of the FAA. So while you are free to photograph aircraft to your heart's content from land-side, the PA still discourages it, yet you are standing on land that is generally considered a public forum.

My guess is that if the PA ever goes on record to ban non-traveling or non-essential public (i.e. persons who have no business being at an airport other than travel, employment or legitimate business) on its property entirely (photography or not) or tries to enforce all airport property as having limited public access, it may face First Amendment civil action. That may be why there is no "official" stance, even though it might be strongly discouraged.

Hate to say it, but I think one of the best ways to clear up the issue of photographing (or just watching planes) on airport property is to get an attorney to contact the PA's legal department and get something official. Unfortunately, failing that, the only other way this will happen, as someone mentioned earlier, is when a civil suit is brought on the PA and/or NYC.

References:

http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/access-public-property

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-155.ZS.html

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/aviation_photography/read.main/40870/

NIKV69
10-19-2012, 04:50 PM
Nick, I remember you had said a lot of this in the past and I understand your reasoning. Problem is, you can't lose what you don't got. We never 'had' the parking garages, it has always been a toss-up, with most of the interactions going better than what was recounted in this thread. And even if the PA were to see Phil's letter and decide to 'respond' with 'photography will no longer be tolerated on airport property', that's already in their rulebook anyway(see the earlier post referencing it), it's just that it's being selectively enforced.

All I saw was some innuendo from some email. Does an environment exist in which they would rather try to run us off than deal with tons of phone calls? Probably but I am sure NCPD had the same and they have handled it differently haven't they?


It's upsetting that you see Phil's actions as foolish, because the way I see it, the PA has no right to treat people with disrespect like that. I don't give a good damn who they think they are, that is UNACCEPTABLE, whether you're spotting or not

No law enforcement agency does. Unfortunately they are human beings like us. Take a hundred of them and you will have one who will cross lines. Apples and oranges.


It's offensive to even consider not taking a stance against what happened. We have an obligation to say to the PA, 'hey your people stepped WAY over the line here, and they need to be retrained'. I will not take kindly to any more of a police state being foisted upon me than already has been. And I'm not supporting Phil just to win points with him because he runs this site; I agree because it's what's right, putting basic human decency above our need to photograph aircraft.


Where was the outrage when Sergio and a group of local spotters got a much worse encounter at EWR and even had their CF cards confiscated? If I remember correctly I advised filing a complaint against the officer which was rebuffed by Phil if I am not mistaken. If you are going to come on with this macho bravado threatening action then do it. If not, spare us. If you want to go down that road be prepared for pushback. Big time.


Maybe the letter will result in a more restrictive atmosphere for us. Maybe someone will end up getting arrested and have to bring this thing into court, like the train situation did. That seemed to end with a positive outcome: a memo by NYPD top brass advising(reminding, really) all staff that PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY.

This has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever read here. So you would risk a prime location and even arrest? Pretty brave but incredibly shortsighted.

The best approach is for contacts to be made and kept. A good relationship with someone higher up will go much further. To write some half cocked letter on a website daring them to do one or the other makes no sense to me. Just more divisive and counterproductive.


Nik, it sounds like your looking for something similar to the scheme that is run down in Houston, where to spot from certain locations, the individual has to contact the airport security on a given number and provide them with the following details:

Who you are
Where you will be spotting
What kind / color of car you are driving
What time you will be out there
How long you plan to stay
What you will be doing (taking pictures, just spotting, etc)

At IAH, this is predominantly for the parking garages and a few other locations, like the cargo centre. Security log your details, and then you are normally free to go about your business. Security and the PD also do regular patrols of the parking lots at IAH, and as long as you have provided details to security over the phone previously then they don't normally bother you.


Not really what I meant but you lay out some good points. That isn't the worst end game for this situation. If it means hassle free spotting so be it. What I am saying is that you first have to talk to the PA to get anywhere. We have figureheads here, plenty of people with contacts. Has anyone ever ever tried to get a hold of anyone at PA with some weight that can have some sort of understanding? Again what Phil has done with his article only seems to set us back. Not lean us forward.

PhilDernerJr
10-19-2012, 05:28 PM
I can't type a lot right now, but...

- I don't recall ever telling anyone to NOT file a complaint against police in that incident. That might have been because something else was already in motion in place of that, but I don't recall specifics.

- I HAVE spoken to several Port officials that are high up on the ladder from multiple departments at multiple airports. Only one of them was ever pro-spotter. The others, in summary, would rather we didn't exist. Re-read the quote from the article...that was from a member of Port management.

- To add, I have had meetings and discussions, all to no avail, examining all kinds of different ideas. And as friendly as those relationships are, it means nothing if people still get treated the way bonanzabucks.

- Port, from those I have spoken with, have no interest in Airport Watch. They feel it can't be practically applied and offers no real purpose. I know that and mentioned that it may not work here...the goal of my article was not to push that.

- It's not a pissing contest. It's standing up for people getting abused. Nothing else.

- Airports are not actually considered public property. Port owns them and they can create and enforce their own rules, unfortunately.

PhilDernerJr
10-19-2012, 05:32 PM
...and I'll add that the spotting location where this happened is the only one we'd lose if they banned photography. Looking at incidents like that...I'd rather lose the spot than see people get treated like that.

Braniff
10-19-2012, 08:54 PM
- Airports are not actually considered public property. Port owns them and they can create and enforce their own rules, unfortunately.

Phil I'd be curious to know where that legislation is written. As far as I know, JFK and LGA property are owned by the City of New York and EWR property is owned by the City of Newark, and the PA leases the property from each city to develop, manage and operate it. While I respect that the PA is a government agency, and thus has some latitude with regard to certain regulations, common sense tells me that they would not be able to override local City, State and Federal laws, including First Amendment rights. While I agree most airport locations would not be considered public fora (i.e. inside the terminals), I suspect there has to be some kind of demarcation where the public is allowed to gather within reason. The question is, are the popular spotting locations within airport property considered public or nonpublic fora.

megatop412
10-19-2012, 11:46 PM
Where was the outrage when Sergio and a group of local spotters got a much worse encounter at EWR and even had their CF cards confiscated? If I remember correctly I advised filing a complaint against the officer which was rebuffed by Phil if I am not mistaken. If you are going to come on with this macho bravado threatening action then do it. If not, spare us. If you want to go down that road be prepared for pushback. Big time.


OK man I tried being empathetic with you so you could see I wasn't attacking what you said, but that pretty much ends with you calling me out and describing what I said as ridiculous.

The ball's in their court as far as I'm concerned, all they have to do is play that hand with me and what you read will happen. Your taunts sure as hell won't get me to do it. And it's not like this is new. I dealt with the PA about this before '9/11' was a buzzword, and they were treating spotters like sh*t back then too. Only reason I haven't raised hell yet is because I haven't had to- unlike you I know how to talk to people without being insulting, so all of my encounters with authorities have been smoother than a baby's ass. Once someone pulls a power play for no reason, it all changes and you'll get to read all about it. I agree that this situation was an anomaly and that people don't need to be going off every time the cops roll up. But it's a mistake to think we just need to 'make and keep contacts', if that were something that worked then it would have worked by now. Somebody here by now would have said "You know what, I know a guy, let me talk to him about this and see what we can do..." Phil has made a lot of effort to bridge this gap and as he says it hasn't really materialized in something that could benefit us.

You think that complaining about your rights being trampled on and demanding some sort of accountability for that behavior should be avoided because it risks a prime spotting location? WTF? I'll say it again: the parking garages were never 'ours' to do what we wished with. They are airport property and if you're asked to leave you do so with no bs.

I don't have to 'spare' anybody jack. If you don't like hearing an opinion different than yours that's fine by me, but not everyone wants to live their lives like you do, keeping your head in the sand while your rights slowly disappear. This is only a free country because of the rivers of blood that have been spilled to make it that way. That won't be for nothing. I'll be damned if I'm just going to roll over and allow myself to be treated like a terrorist when I'm trying to live my life. I don't get what's so hard to understand about it. You can feel free to establish your contacts and see how that works. This has nothing to do with 'macho bravado'; bravado is putting your life on the line to protect the US, its citizens, and their rights. All I'm talking about is enjoying the rights granted to me as a US citizen. I'm not brave, I'm just not stupid and I don't suffer fools easily.

As far as Sergio's situation was concerned, I'm sorry if I didn't formally say it before, but here goes: "The police do not have the right to take your memory card if you have not committed a crime, and they were clearly abusive towards this group of spotters, and a complaint should be filed". There, does that make you happy?

NIKV69
10-20-2012, 05:06 AM
It's not a pissing contest. It's standing up for people getting abused. Nothing else.

Then why the ultimatum? Why not follow up officially? Why make a statement like they either love us or ban us? It makes no sense.


Airports are not actually considered public property. Port owns them and they can create and enforce their own rules, unfortunately.

It's amazing how this has transcended over the years from being bullied by police on public land to this. Why is it unfortunate that they own the place and set the rules? That is part of life Phil. More reason to be diplomatic as opposed as standoffish.


I'd rather lose the spot than see people get treated like that.

There you have it. Someone who rarely shoots and hasn't uploaded in over two years not caring if a prime popular spot that locals have been enjoying gets lost. Nice Phil. Think of the big picture.


The ball's in their court as far as I'm concerned, all they have to do is play that hand with me and what you read will happen

I can only imagine.


but not everyone wants to live their lives like you do, keeping your head in the sand while your rights slowly disappear

What rights are those? To do whatever we want on private property? Your thinking is very clouded here. We don't have right to shoot there. It's a privilege and should be treated as such.


As far as Sergio's situation was concerned, I'm sorry if I didn't formally say it before, but here goes: "The police do not have the right to take your memory card if you have not committed a crime, and they were clearly abusive towards this group of spotters, and a complaint should be filed". There, does that make you happy?

Few years late but nice job. As I said. All this bravado is amusing. If you are going to go down that road then do it and stop talking about it. Just get ready for the spotters who will a little mad at you once the garages get lost like the cargo area did.

threeholerglory
10-20-2012, 02:35 PM
Before I go back to eating my popcorn, I do have to say Nick that lots was done after the EWR incident to clarify the harassment etc and ultimately got our memory cards back...I can't/won't provide details because either I wasn't informed of all of them (nor do I need to know), or I won't post anything in the forum on it that hasn't already been clarified. Otherwise, great points on all sides!

Ready........GO!

http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxjm4n4umw1rn1xxfo1_400.gif

PhilDernerJr
10-21-2012, 09:35 PM
First, to EVERYONE, if people disagree or do not like that I wrote this article...if you feel that what I am saying in public is instead creating a threat to the hobby, or if that spotting location in question is more important than the topic at hand...please feel free to let me know, in public or private. I need and want to know people's opinions.


Then why the ultimatum?

There was no ultimatum. It was a request. An ultimatum requires a threat of "if you don't do this, we will do 'this', but there was none of that.


Why not follow up officially?

Again, you're assuming that I'm not. I am following up. I will advise when and as it progresses.


Why make a statement like they either love us or ban us? It makes no sense.

I never said "love or hate us" or anything of the sort. I want official stance of what is allowed and not allowed.

This is because I feel (my opinion) that they shouldn't ride the fence and then tolerate having their police force treat people like bonanzabucks. And also...there WAS just as much upset over Sergio's incident. It happened that the officials involved were already working the issue closely and working on doing the right thing within hours anyway.


Why is it unfortunate that they own the place and set the rules? That is part of life Phil. More reason to be diplomatic as opposed as standoffish.

I have no problem with them making the rules...but they haven't ever MADE the rule! Just because I am told in private by officials that they don't allow photography on airport proper doesn't mean that it is really a rule because so many people will violate that unofficial rule because they won't know about it, and police will respond as they please because there is therefore no guidance for them to follow. I have no problem being a soundboard for stuff, but if they don't want photography on airport property then they should make it a rule.

Keep in mind bonanzabucks didn't even have a camera. So that is why I ask for Port to offer a stance on the hobby in general. If photography is ok, then non-camera spotting must be ok too. I just want people to be able to KNOW what is and is not allowed.

I don't feel it is standoffish, and I think my article IS diplomatic...since when does diplomacy not include writing opinion articles and letters that contain passion? All I did was reference some spotting examples and say that Port should do something to change the situation.

It is something that upsets me and I voiced my opinion in an opinion article. Keep in mind I've spent years shaking hands with these people from all airports and working with them on projects (NYCA and other) and discussing the hobby with them.


There you have it. Someone who rarely shoots and hasn't uploaded in over two years not caring if a prime popular spot that locals have been enjoying gets lost. Nice Phil. Think of the big picture.

I find this ironic and ignorant. I do not spot at JFK often, which we all know. But I do spot. I visit LGA often. I take photos often.

Yeah, I haven't uploaded to JP or Anet in two years...but does that make me any less of a spotter? I didn't know that being at JFK weekly with a DSLR and uploading to JP or Anet was the only way that I can speak out about anything. And I've been to the location in question over a dozen times, so it's not like I've never enjoyed it and am referring to "other" people's locations.

Just as I know I can't define the hobby for others, you don't get to define it for me either. For someone who doesn't spot much yourself...you're being quite vocal, no? ;)

Spotting at that location has been FINE for a while now with very few problems. Others may disagree, which is fine, but to me, but even ONE incident makes it not worth it. I think about the future...what will happen the next time there is an incident? Someone may get arrested or worse. That is why a simple rule is important... a little official guidance for cops and security to go by instead of having free reign to abuse people. If we lose that spot as a result of a new rule, that would suck but at least we don't have to look over our shoulders and worry about whether or not cops are going to verbally abuse us or take us to the precinct again.

Again, I don't care how great a location is or has been...1 person out of 1,000 getting that treatment isn't worth it in my eyes. I'm going to speak out. Others are welcome to disagree.

We have no one else to look out for us...except for our fellow spotters. If bonanzabucks can't look to us for support, then who else? With Sergio's situation...before we even had a chance to do much, it was already being handled behind the scenes (which I only a middleman of, mind you...I just knew it was happening, thankfully).


All this bravado is amusing. If you are going to go down that road then do it and stop talking about it. Just get ready for the spotters who will a little mad at you once the garages get lost like the cargo area did.

Do WHAT exactly? You keep saying "do it" but I am wondering what actual act you're referring to that no one is supposedly doing. Please enlighten me.

Zee71
10-21-2012, 09:57 PM
Phil....thank you for the article! We as a spotting community (whether locally or elsewhere) need to stick together (in numbers there is power), and standup for our civil rights and resolve issues like this (or at least get clarification). Especially with the Port, a gray area to say the least.

The poster from Manchester Airport in England is fantastic and really shows how spotters can help as opposed to TSA poster. What a difference! Maybe the Port Authority should send an assembly over to Manchester to gain insight.

Something to think about: Why is it okay to photograph the One World Trade Center (as it is being build), but not okay with PANYNJ to photographing planes? What's the difference?

I am optimistic and think things in the end will work out for our hobby.

NickPeterman
10-21-2012, 10:30 PM
Whether or not you agree with Phil's actions or exact phrasing, I think we can all agree that from what info we have, what occurred here was not exactly keeping with standard law enforcement procedures. Having found myself in a situation not to dissimilar from what was described here, it is the intervention of people like Phil who helped me out. In my case, the clarified an incident which could have cost the Washbalt spotters group a hugely frequented location, and also helped Law Enforcement know how to handle us. It was a win-win.

As for how it will play out, from a neutral observer's standpoint, all it seems that you have to lose is a semi-official rule (that was shared with me as though it were law) may become officially codified. On the positive side, maybe, just maybe, you will launch a dialogue that could lead somewhere productive.

You never know!

N

NIKV69
10-21-2012, 10:36 PM
There was no ultimatum. It was a request. An ultimatum requires a threat of "if you don't do this, we will do 'this', but there was none of that.

Where one of the requests included banning photography altogether. Good move. Again why such a heavy handed move? Especially when you holding no cards. It's not public property Phil.


Again, you're assuming that I'm not. I am following up. I will advise when and as it progresses.


So you write a rant filled antagonistic article and also contact them? Again, makes little sense. I still fail to see why you would write this and what it could possibly accomplish but to alienate the PA.


I never said "love or hate us" or anything of the sort. I want official stance of what is allowed and not allowed.

Which included banning photography. Phil you missed the mark badly in your article. PA doesn't dislike photographers. They dislike the huge amount of phone calls they receive when the general public sees us and has no idea what we are doing. Remember we live in the number 1 target for terrorism. Now to be honest PA could have taken the path of just totally banning any sort of our behavior a long time ago, but as you say they don't have an official rule saying so. Why encourage them to do it? Was Bonanza's treatment totally out of bounds? Of course it was. If we are to survive spotting in NY in areas that are not public then there is a trade off. Do I like it? No, I know what it is to enjoy garage spotting without any care in the world of badge heavy law enforcement. Unfortunately in a post 9/11 world this may never be the case in NY.

So I would rather try to save these spots than encourage or give someone an excuse to ban them.


I find this ironic and ignorant. I do not spot at JFK often, which we all know. But I do spot. I visit LGA often. I take photos often.

Great, just don't forget the guys who chose to shoot at JFK. They stand to lose a spot they probably really like.


Yeah, I haven't uploaded to JP or Anet in two years...but does that make me any less of a spotter? I didn't know that being at JFK weekly with a DSLR and uploading to JP or Anet was the only way that I can speak out about anything. And I've been to the location in question over a dozen times, so it's not like I've never enjoyed it and am referring to "other" people's locations.


You can speak about JFK all you want. Just remember the guys who use a location u have been to over a dozen times probably use it 4 to 5 times a week. They have a dog in the hunt too.


Just as I know I can't define the hobby for others, you don't get to define it for me either. For someone who doesn't spot much yourself...you're being quite vocal, no? ;)


You follow me around Phil? I spot plenty. Just because I don't use my time editing shots to post on your site doesn't mean I don't spot.


but to me, but even ONE incident makes it not worth it

There you go again. Phil you may think you speak for the spotters in the NY area but trust me, you don't. You really should have spoken to people and got opinions before you published an article like that. I can't for the life of me think that just because a bad cop lost his mind in an encounter that it's not worth trying to preserve a prime shooting location, and to force the people that own the property to make a decision. One of which being to end photography there.


Again, I don't care how great a location is or has been...1 person out of 1,000 getting that treatment isn't worth it in my eyes. I'm going to speak out. Others are welcome to disagree.


Yea we can all just head over to LGA. Right Phil?


We have no one else to look out for us...except for our fellow spotters. If bonanzabucks can't look to us for support, then who else? With Sergio's situation...before we even had a chance to do much, it was already being handled behind the scenes (which I only a middleman of, mind you...I just knew it was happening, thankfully).

Yea what happened was someone who knew someone took a diplomatic approach and got everyone's property back. Without someone writing an article asking PA at EWR to publicly state what their stance is on photographers. End result even though EWR is tough to shoot at we can still at times get over there and shoot. It's a win some lose some proposition. Is it a sacrifice? Sure but the alternative of zero tolerance towards us isn't very appealing to the future of spotting IMO.


Do WHAT exactly? You keep saying "do it" but I am wondering what actual act you're referring to that no one is supposedly doing. Please enlighten me.

Read the thread Phil. It's all right there.

Delta777LR
10-21-2012, 11:35 PM
Funny that my name was mention on the EWR incident, i never forget what happened that day, yes i was with 5 other planespotters when PAPD get a call about our presence at the north parking lot. We were blocked in by 3 PAPD Crown Victorias, and asked for our IDs and requested our CF cards. The last thing on my mind was that they were gonna delete our photos which they dont have a right to do. That was the day that we spotted that a UA A319 had a landing gear collapse on 4L which we took pictures of. I thought we were gonna lose the pics, if we did, i would have made a lawsuit bigtime, deleting pictures is the same as ripping up your 35mm film.. I really had a fit. Thats why i rarely spot at EWR. And I believe Nick V about losing the spotting locations. We dont need that

megatop412
10-22-2012, 07:06 PM
Do WHAT exactly? You keep saying "do it" but I am wondering what actual act you're referring to that no one is supposedly doing. Please enlighten me.

Phil, Nick is referring to what I said I'd do if someone on a power trip tried to confiscate any of my equipment or tell me that photography is 'illegal'. Which is to say that yes, I would risk arrest by refusing to hand over memory cards or a camera(remember, I already said that I would leave 'private property' if I was told to). Not to make trouble for you or anyone else. And I wouldn't be a d*ck about it at all.

Those who know me know that I'm pretty much the least confrontational person there is. I don't look for trouble and just want to have a good time like everyone else. But I see no reason to just go along with any little thing that infringes on MY right as a citizen of this country. Too many people have died for our way of life. That way of life is a free society, free from tyranny. Photography(of any kind) is an art, not a terrorist activity, and I'll tell people that until I'm blue in the face. The suggestion that me practicing my art is in any way connected to the sickness that was 9/11 is repulsive. I refuse to be a part of the fear machine created over the past ten years, and it looks like I'll go to my grave refusing to accept the whole 'we live in a new world now' crapola.

And Nick, I have done this, I did it at Philly 3 years ago when some terminal worker tried to tell me that photography of the planes was illegal. The first thing I said was "No it isn't. There are no signs, and I'm a ticketed passenger so I have a right to be here. I'm an aviation photographer and this is what I do." I then handed her my card and told her she could feel free to go get her boss. She walked away, and nothing further happened. Would the same thing happen @ JFK? I don't know and could care less. Whatever man, I'm done explaining myself, go take some pictures

Zee71
10-22-2012, 07:53 PM
Nick ..... a little humor to break the tension. I'm sure you'll remember these words.

"Show me your policy!", and what happened? Nothing! :cool:

William ..... I couldn't agree with you more. Plenty of men and women died for our freedom, and when someone say's 9/11, it irk's me as well (especially knowing a high school buddy who lost his life that morning).

NIKV69
10-22-2012, 08:33 PM
But I see no reason to just go along with any little thing that infringes on MY right as a citizen of this country. Too many people have died for our way of life.

You don't have that right on private property. Don't lose sight of where you are. On public property yes but once you are in a parking lot or parking garage it's not your right. It's a privilege. This fact gets lost with many here every time we have a bad cop encounter.


free from tyranny

Oh my, the drama.


The suggestion that me practicing my art is in any way connected to the sickness that was 9/11 is repulsive. I refuse to be a part of the fear machine created over the past ten years, and it looks like I'll go to my grave refusing to accept the whole 'we live in a new world now' crapola.

It's not crapola. It's fact. NY is the prime target of terrorists. Time Square bomber? Fed building bombing? Thankfully these were thwarted but this isn't happening in Las Vegas or Phoenix. Which is why I can spend all day on the parking garages there without incident.

We live in a world and an area where people will be suspicious of any activity around an airport forever. On public land we have right to practice our hobby. On private land it's different. PA is in a position where they have to police, they have to field the calls. More times than not the encounters are civil and we can continue to use spots that we like but sometimes we get a bad seed.

That is all it is. It isn't tyranny, it isn't the eroding of our rights. This is all smoke and mirrors. If it was happening on public land like it did the couple of years after 9/11 I would agree but we have moved on from that for the most part. We need to play the game and coexist with PA or as Phil stated they can just turn around and have zero tolerance anywhere on airport land. This would truly be a loss for the people that are lucky to call themselves JFK spotters.


And Nick, I have done this, I did it at Philly 3 years ago when some terminal worker tried to tell me that photography of the planes was illegal. The first thing I said was "No it isn't. There are no signs, and I'm a ticketed passenger so I have a right to be here. I'm an aviation photographer and this is what I do." I then handed her my card and told her she could feel free to go get her boss. She walked away, and nothing further happened. Would the same thing happen @ JFK? I don't know and could care less. Whatever man, I'm done explaining myself, go take some pictures

It does happen. Mark had an encounter where a security officer got all in his face and Mark used tact and the guy didn't have a leg to stand on. PA didn't even come. It will happen more times than not but every once in a blue we will get what happened to Bonanza when a bad cop went too far. Doesn't mean we need to write articles calling out the PA and demanding decisions be made. It's a poor move and doesn't do anybody any good.


Nick ..... a little humor to break the tension. I'm sure you'll remember these words.

"Show me your policy!", and what happened? Nothing! :cool:


Epic words that will go down in history! Great job Mark it was a pleasure to witness.

eric8669
10-22-2012, 08:52 PM
Y Doesn't mean we need to write articles calling out the PA and demanding decisions be made. It's a poor move and doesn't do anybody any good.


Nick, You're the only one on here who thinks its a poor move.

The parking garage is not considered an official spot, it never was. If we lost it so be it. Find another spot. I don't consider it a lose as you say.

And by the way I am a JFK spotter.

NIKV69
10-22-2012, 09:10 PM
Nick, You're the only one on here who thinks its a poor move.

The parking garage is not considered an official spot, it never was. If we lost it so be it. Find another spot. I don't consider it a lose as you say.

And by the way I am a JFK spotter.

So am I and others that like the garage Eric. If you choose to shoot at the mounds and other spots great but others like the garage and they are JFK spotters too.

BTW I am far from the only person who feels it was a bad move. Remember not everyone that shoots at JFK posts here.

PhilDernerJr
10-23-2012, 12:34 AM
Big shock... this is going in circles.

I can only represent me, as I've said and never implied otherwise. I shared my opinion, which no one has to agree with. People are welcome to voice their own opinion and action their own as they feel as well. I will even support them in the process and their actions.

My total point is:

- Not having a rule opens us up to being on the receiving end of these incidents.

- Requesting such action may not end up in an official banning of photography.

- Such a rule would ONLY affect one spot IF it came to that. I am aware of that risk and I feel that not being mistreated by police and security is worth that risk.

Glad everyone is able to share their opinions.

NIKV69
10-23-2012, 08:54 AM
My total point is:

- Not having a rule opens us up to being on the receiving end of these incidents.

- Requesting such action may not end up in an official banning of photography.

- Such a rule would ONLY affect one spot IF it came to that. I am aware of that risk and I feel that not being mistreated by police and security is worth that risk.

No, it will probably effect all spots on airport property and could also effect our treatment at EWR where we really can't afford a more restrictive climate as it's a bitch to shoot there as it is. I hope requesting such an action wouldn't end up in any ban. I thought you supported working with law enforcement in developing a relationship by diplomatic ways to preserve our hobby. I just feel that is better achieved being proactive and not reactive. If it has become clear to you that PA will never play ball I just feel the climate of tolerating one idiot officer once in a while and being able to shoot on the garages and other spots on the grounds in better to losing it altogether. It's a crappy tradeoff but I feel it's worth it. In addition to buying us time in the event we catch a break and a sympathetic person on the inside coming around and helping us one day.

You never know.

PhilDernerJr
10-23-2012, 11:17 AM
What other spots on airport property are there? There's the one in question here.

Nick, I respect your opinion truly. It is a valid stance and a valid concern. I do have a relationship with various Port officials and I don't feel this will tarnish that, nor our chances in having a safe, useful and abuse-free environment for our hobby that actually contributes to airport safety.

I will keep everyone posted as I am able as things progress with my communication with them. Details to come shortly as I arrange.

Landing Lights
10-23-2012, 12:38 PM
There are some excellent arguments being made here. I have just a few observations that I have made as a relatively new member of the spotting community.

First, in a perfect world there should be no question as to whether or not spotting and photography is allowed if there is no rule specifically banning it. However the post-9/11 world is far from perfect and we are dealing with authorities and a general public who believe that the only people with a deep interest in airplanes are those bent on doing horrific things. The best thing that we can do about this is to go out and be seen! Wear a smile and act like you belong there (you do!). With time, people will become more accustomed to seeing us out there, and so will the authorities.

Second, as a newcomer I was always under the impression that spotting at NYC area airports was pretty much a strictly off-property proposition, and that at least photography on-property was frowned upon, though as the saying goes, "its only illegal if you get caught." Since there is no official rule and yet it is known to be frowned upon, I think that common sense would be that you don't advertise what you are doing for an extended period. Take your shot and then stash the camera. Don't make it obvious that you're camping out there. Now this has little bearing on what occurred to Bonanzabucks, but since photography has become a part of this conversation, it needs to be said. As for just spotting without a camera, I really don't think that you could possibly make a rule against it that would be enforceable.

Third, I think my biggest concern with a rule banning photography would be at EWR and especially SWF (I don't think many people are trying to spot at TEB) where there are very few places to spot from off-property. I have spotted at SWF a few times with a camera and have never had a problem, whereas it seems at EWR no matter where you go you will have a problem. However if there is a rule specifically prohibiting the practice, then things get more difficult. That being said, it is my opinion that clarity is always preferable over gray areas and having a rule for or against will serve to prevent encounters where misinformed individuals blow things out of proportion.

PhilDernerJr
11-13-2012, 08:03 PM
Hey all,

Today I had a nice phone discussion with a PANYNJ official who clearly stated that planespotting is legal and allowed on airport property! He assures me that there are NO rules against this, and he is very interested in hearing of cases where other Port officials, airport employees, or PAPD tell enthusiasts otherwise.

All they want is for no photography at or of security checkpoints, and to have no people in the photos (which would include ramp workers).

Don't use this post as a claim to show to cops at the airports tomorrow, but I will obtain something clear and official for everyone to see. I will be meeting with them later this week. Just wanted to give you a heads up as I promised.

moose135
11-13-2012, 08:05 PM
Thanks for the update, Phil, and for all your work on this!

Delta777LR
11-14-2012, 12:22 AM
awesome Phil!

NIKV69
11-14-2012, 12:58 AM
Hey all,

Today I had a nice phone discussion with a PANYNJ official who clearly stated that planespotting is legal and allowed on airport property! He assures me that there are NO rules against this, and he is very interested in hearing of cases where other Port officials, airport employees, or PAPD tell enthusiasts otherwise.

All they want is for no photography at or of security checkpoints, and to have no people in the photos (which would include ramp workers).

Don't use this post as a claim to show to cops at the airports tomorrow, but I will obtain something clear and official for everyone to see. I will be meeting with them later this week. Just wanted to give you a heads up as I promised.

This is great Phil but we have known that photography is allowed as long as it's not of security checkpoints. Nothing new. The problem is PA officers behavior toward us and how it is handled like when they lie to us when they tell us what we do is illegal. Or when a bad seed is encountered like in Bonanza's encounter. I spoke to a friend of my father who was a PA officer who just retired. His opinion is some sort of system is needed where any spotter should touch base with PA ops before they spot so shift officers are aware, etc. Then maybe when the calls come in they can handled better and a officer just doesn't try to run us off.

Like you alluded to before, if indeed a climate does exist among officers or whomever that they would rather discourage spotting then deal with it professionally then that should be your priority in your meeting. If that is addressed and all officers are made aware then we can move forward.

Landing Lights
11-14-2012, 07:25 AM
Thanks, Phil! I think this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Roush6NY
11-14-2012, 09:16 AM
Thank you Phil for all your hard work and effort to make things happen. This is great !

gonzalu
11-14-2012, 10:14 AM
Phil, what Nick meant to say was "Thank you Phil" and no more :tongue:

Geesh...

Spunker
11-14-2012, 10:58 AM
Wow Phil, That is great news! Thank you for the work you put into it! I hope to get down to JFK soon!
Gene

lijk604
11-14-2012, 02:24 PM
Thanks for your tireless efforts Phil. This has been a long debate, and although what Nick may say is true, sometimes diplomacy is the better way to handle things.

PhilDernerJr
11-14-2012, 03:37 PM
I definitely agree that diplomacy is always best, which is why I feel I have been sticking to it.

Your thanks are welcome, but it's early yet. I'm hoping to get something in-hand that I can show and maybe even distribute to you all.

I will let you folks know how it goes tomorrow. I will be speaking at a board meeting which is open to the public, and also speaking separately with the people that I've been speaking to on the phone lately.

eric8669
11-14-2012, 03:51 PM
I definitely agree that diplomacy is always best, which is why I feel I have been sticking to it.

Your thanks are welcome, but it's early yet. I'm hoping to get something in-hand that I can show and maybe even distribute to you all.

I will let you folks know how it goes tomorrow. I will be speaking at a board meeting which is open to the public, and also speaking separately with the people that I've been speaking to on the phone lately.

Where is the board meeting? I would like to go.

PhilDernerJr
11-14-2012, 05:19 PM
Where is the board meeting? I would like to go.

I only have info on speakers, but since it is "public" I do assume anyone can attend, and it'd be nice to have you.

Thursday November 15 at 1pm.
225 Park Avenue South, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10003

They told me that times MIGHT change, and to check their site...but I can't find it. If you do plan on going, I'll text you if I learn of changes.

I understand video will be made of the whole thing as well.

NIKV69
11-14-2012, 05:21 PM
Phil, what Nick meant to say was "Thank you Phil" and no more :tongue:

Geesh...

I will reserve my 'thanks' when some progress is gained. Phil simply called someone who basically told us what we already know. Shooting is fine as long as it isn't of checkpoints.

I hope the meetings go well and some process can be created where we can shoot without the negative encounters. If Phil can get the job done I will then convey my gratitude. I don't mean to break up the love fest, just being honest.

PhilDernerJr
11-14-2012, 05:52 PM
Though I've already spoken with them, the public speech is a way of putting us on public record. I have 3 minutes to speak, during which I intend to introduce NYCA, show our relevancy and influence in the media, introduce planespotting, explain the incident mentioned in this thread, introduce the airport watch program and its benefits, and ultimately ask Port to work with spotters or to help us practice our hobby in a safe manner. Yes...in three minutes.

Separately, the news of spotting being legal on airport grounds is not actually new, or at least just not confirmed....airport management from multiple PANYNJ airports have clearly stated that it was AGAINST rules, even though it was not official. This goes back to what the official rules are. Again, I hope to take the info that I was given by the higher-ranking PANYNJ official and give us somethign tangible that we can use in enjoying our hobby legally, safely, and void of law enforcement mistreatment.

gonzalu
11-14-2012, 08:36 PM
Where is the board meeting? I would like to go.

Eric, don't go creeping or scaring anybody out now. We've come a long way for that ..

:tongue::tongue::tongue:

Speedbird1
11-15-2012, 02:03 PM
Strange, when I posted about my problems with the PA harrassing me at airport properties, the response was that I should get-over the "they're out to get us" attitude of mine. Years ago, after 9-11, I was waiting for a Concorde arrival on 13L and was waiting atop one of the garage roofs. I saw a car driving around and after about 10 minutes the driver told me that I was on private property and must leave immediately. Luckily, I was never searched or humiliated. I responded that I was waiting for the Concorde but he didn't care. I left and moved to a different location where I finally saw my Concorde. These guys like to harrass spotters but many just report us and let us stay. I know they watch us in all the terminals and since 9-11, who can blame them? Hopefully, a way could be worked out where we could even get special photo ID cards from the PA if we are willing to undergo a background check which is no problem. If worked-out, spotters would be welcomed at the area airports and allowed to spot without suspicion and fear of harrassment.

Braniff
11-15-2012, 02:13 PM
Phil, excellent job at the Board of Directors public session. I was watching it live via the PA web site. A lot of information to cram into three minutes, but glad you were able to speak before the directors and commissioners. There were also a lot of top-ranking PAPD officials and officers there who heard you as well.

I doubt the issue will go away overnight despite your conversation with that top-ranking official and your appearance before the board, but hopefully they will finally publicly concede that photography at PA airports is allowed and make it official (in writing.)

It was also very cool that you spoke back-to-back with Kal, my partner in crime in the Save the Worldport campaign. :)

The board meeting video has already been published and is located at http://www.panynj.gov/corporate-information/board-meeting-videos.html

Click "Board Meeting 11/15/12." Phil's talk starts at 53:32 into the video, which is towards the end so you need to fast forward once the video fully buffers.

-Anthony

gonzalu
11-15-2012, 04:05 PM
Well done Phil... looks like you had 5 seconds to deliver a thesis :-) I think you did a terrific job given the circumstances.

yankees368
11-15-2012, 04:06 PM
Direct link: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid44666525001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAAGYHEv4~,dHtJMlbik 2pgJLCA-DErLxsWI7K69fNn&bclid=44783804001&bctid=1971883392001

PhilDernerJr
11-15-2012, 04:51 PM
I didn't know it was being broadcast live! Surprised the video is available so quickly.

Yes, I had to speak fast and get a lot out there in only 3 minutes, and I made it just in time. The part that you didn't hear when I turned around was to the PAPD officers, who had just received heroism awards, saying "This is of course not to discredit the work of the Port Authority Police Department, who do a great job keeping our ports safe everyday..."

I was pleased with the info that I was able to pass along to them. Already, I've received word that a memo is being prepared to be given to all PAPD commanding officers to address the PANYNJ's true policy on photos during roll calls to all PAPD officers.

This pretty much means that within the coming weeks, PAPD officers will know that aviation photography IS allowed on airport property, and maybe we can begin spotting in terminals without worry. I am working to also get a document that I can pass to you all to show you the exact rules, which can allow for quoting when questioned by officers, guard or concerned citizens.

PLEASE...if you have questions or anything, let me know so I can communicate more concerns to PANYNJ. Thanks guys.

PhilDernerJr
11-15-2012, 04:56 PM
I just learned that this memo will be made available to us as well, which I will pass along.

EWR spotting anyone? :)

Delta777LR
11-15-2012, 04:58 PM
Great Job Phil! Yes I did just watch the video. 2 thumbs up! Hope this all goes well..

Cary
11-15-2012, 05:53 PM
Great job, Phil! I would have run out of breath by about the 5th sentence.

NIKV69
11-15-2012, 06:15 PM
I am working to also get a document that I can pass to you all to show you the exact rules, which can allow for quoting when questioned by officers, guard or concerned citizens.


Nice speech Phil, as to exact rules I am little confused. Haven't we already established that? No checkpoints and people? Also in your private meeting did you broach the topic of the attitude that they would rather run us off and discourage that you mentioned earlier? I don't see why we need a piece of paper or quotes when the officer approaching us should be aware of the rule as we are and should be just checking that we are indeed just spotting and after a quick ID check should be on his way. If anything is to change it has to start with a mindset of acceptance and this being passed along to all officers.

moose135
11-15-2012, 06:42 PM
If anything is to change it has to start with a mindset of acceptance and this being passed along to all officers.

Maybe you missed this part of Phil's post...


Already, I've received word that a memo is being prepared to be given to all PAPD commanding officers to address the PANYNJ's true policy on photos during roll calls to all PAPD officers.

It doesn't matter if we know the real policy, it is up to PAPD command to make sure the troops know it too.

BTW, I just had a chance to watch the video. Good job, Phil, although I might have re-thought that choice of tie... :-)

NIKV69
11-15-2012, 07:26 PM
Maybe you missed this part of Phil's post...

No but you obviously didn't read mine.


Also in your private meeting did you broach the topic of the attitude that they would rather run us off and discourage that you mentioned earlier?

Or this?


If anything is to change it has to start with a mindset of acceptance and this being passed along to all officers.


I am sure PA knows what the rule is since they are tasked with enforcing it. The underlying problem was a so called attitude Phil claimed in an email he supposedly saw. If anything is to change the commanders are going to have tackle that. Not just distribute a memo telling them something they already know. Or us carrying something around to use when we are approached. If real acceptance is accomplished this is unnecessary. Since all we would have to do it show and ID and explain what we are doing or develop contacts or a system where we announce our arrival beforehand. These are the things that can yield results. Not just merely stating the obvious.

gonzalu
11-15-2012, 07:29 PM
Nick what's your point of being so argumentative instead of positive? Are you only interested in arguing or fighting? Lay down your weapons, we all want the best here, there is NO CONSPIRACY dude, none whatsoever :-)

Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here!

I have never seen you up in front of the PANYNJ or otherwise any podium... why not run for office already? You'd make a great politician :-)

NIKV69
11-15-2012, 07:46 PM
Nick what's your point of being so argumentative instead of positive? Are you only interested in arguing or fighting? Lay down your weapons, we all want the best here, there is NO CONSPIRACY dude, none whatsoever :-)

Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here!

I have never seen you up in front of the PANYNJ or otherwise any podium... why not run for office already? You'd make a great politician :-)

I am not the one arguing Manny, just asking questions from Phil's meeting. I don't need to get on a podium I am not the de facto spokesperson here. Phil is. To be honest I really don't like to be tied into or with anything Phil or NYCAV does but since Phil is doing this and I am a NY spotter it effects me and I would like to know what is happening. If you want to rant and call me crazy send me a PM. Stop trolling.

Gerard
11-15-2012, 08:14 PM
[QUOTE=NIKV69;477314] To be honest I really don't like to be tied into or with anything Phil or NYCAV does /QUOTE]

:tongue::eek: :confused::rolleyes:

eric8669
11-15-2012, 08:41 PM
I am not the one arguing Manny, just asking questions from Phil's meeting. I don't need to get on a podium I am not the de facto spokesperson here. Phil is. To be honest I really don't like to be tied into or with anything Phil or NYCAV does but since Phil is doing this and I am a NY spotter it effects me and I would like to know what is happening. If you want to rant and call me crazy send me a PM. Stop trolling.

who's stopping you from doing your own thing?

gonzalu
11-15-2012, 08:47 PM
Nick, me ranting? Trolling? You are the one that sounds like a troll. Everyone else said thank you, you go on and on pointing out issue after issue etc. If anyone is a troll, it is you...

and you're afraid of discussing this publicly? I am not into PMs, too conservative. I like my liberal-semi-conservative views way out in public :tongue:

NIKV69
11-15-2012, 08:52 PM
who's stopping you from doing your own thing?

You will have to define that Eric. If you mean shooting and not being affiliated with this site is doing ones own thing that I guess I do that already. As I stated earlier I am a NY spotter. I don't consider myself part of Phil's site for the purposes he outlined in his speech. I merely post in the message forum. There is a difference.


you go on and on pointing out issue after issue etc

No, just one. The PA's attitude of rather discouraging us from shooting than tolerating. Stop clouding that with your rant. Again PM is your friend.

yankees368
11-15-2012, 09:22 PM
Look, the point is as simple as this. We already knew that there was no rule against spotting or even photography at PA property. The issue was that the PD made up their own rules, completely randomly and varying from office to officer, and usually enforced with extreme prejudice.
This will at least attempt to spread the word within the PAPD that spotting is just fine.

PhilDernerJr
11-16-2012, 02:03 AM
Nice speech Phil, as to exact rules I am little confused. Haven't we already established that? No checkpoints and people?

As far as I knew, no. My own understanding, as was explained to me by airport management for years and from PAPD is that photography was not allowed on airport ground, even though there was no official rule on it.


Also in your private meeting did you broach the topic of the attitude that they would rather run us off and discourage that you mentioned earlier?

I mentioned it on the phone to the official I spoke with, and he was interested in hearing specifics of examples, which I intend to provide details of for all future encounters where that is the case.

My speech also specifically referenced the intimidationg with the intent of discouraging the spotter from continuing the hobby.


I don't see why we need a piece of paper or quotes when the officer approaching us should be aware of the rule

That is just it. I do not think that the officers actually know...because it wasn't published anywhere. All they had to go by was misinformation on what airport managers said the rules were...which was wrong. I personally (my opinion) is that PAPD officer simply did not know the rules, and maybe airport management felt tehy had the freedom to make up their own rules since there was no clear guidance from their higher ups at PANYNJ HQ.

This was my whole point in asking for their actual stance on the hobby. With this clear rule and related memo, we will know that those officers and airport management have no room to tell us that photography is not allowed. It also gives us something tangible to show and stick up for ourselves with.

I could be wrong, but I don't think any of us felt we truly had the freedom or would feel comfortable going into any NYC terminals to spot. In the coming weeks, that will be a possibility again.


The underlying problem was a so called attitude Phil claimed in an email he supposedly saw.

Let me know if you don't actually believe anything I say, I don't want to waste your time or mine if anything I say is just bull in your mind.

As for the quote, though I didn't name the individual, I put the exact quote in the article that I wrote.


If real acceptance is accomplished this is unnecessary.

You're completely right. And this new step is a new chance for us to receive that acceptance, as we now have a tool in our belts specifically for it. Maybe the cops will press back...who knows? This isn't a final victory for on-airport spotting. We will need to see how it goes.

Ultimately, in the beginning of the thread, Nick, your concern was losing the one on-airport spotting location as a result of the article I wrote, and you wanted me to do more to build an even stronger relationship with Port to bridge that gap. Not only did my article help open a location in another city (San Antonio), but I did step it up even further as I planned and as you requested. So instead of losing a spot...we now stand to gain an infinite amount of spots, and finally have access to an airport that we didn't previously have access to (EWR).

And this isn't a victory yet, nor are this week's revelation's useful until we get that memo in-hand and go to the airports to test it all out. So you may be right...it's too early too tell.

Nick, as before, I am still open to suggestions if there is even more you think I can do that I haven't.

NIKV69
11-16-2012, 05:53 AM
As far as I knew, no. My own understanding, as was explained to me by airport management for years and from PAPD is that photography was not allowed on airport ground, even though there was no official rule on it.

http://www.panynj.gov/press-room/media-access.html

Click middle tab that says Videotaping/photography at PA facilities.


My speech also specifically referenced the intimidationg with the intent of discouraging the spotter from continuing the hobby.

I know I asked did you discuss this in your private meeting after your speech.


This was my whole point in asking for their actual stance on the hobby. With this clear rule and related memo, we will know that those officers and airport management have no room to tell us that photography is not allowed. It also gives us something tangible to show and stick up for ourselves with.

See above link Phil. It is clear what their stance is. Your speech intro laid it out clearly that your site is tied to the media. You dropped CNN etc. So to them this is not a hobby and they will not differentiate. This is my concern that now all spotters will be painted with the same brush.



Let me know if you don't actually believe anything I say, I don't want to waste your time or mine if anything I say is just bull in your mind.

As for the quote, though I didn't name the individual, I put the exact quote in the article that I wrote.

You misunderstood Phil, I believe you. I just asked if you touched on this in your meeting because it wasn't that the policy was not clear. (Above link) It was that PA would rather us not be there at all and that a relationship needed to be established.



Ultimately, in the beginning of the thread, Nick, your concern was losing the one on-airport spotting location as a result of the article I wrote, and you wanted me to do more to build an even stronger relationship with Port to bridge that gap. Not only did my article help open a location in another city (San Antonio), but I did step it up even further as I planned and as you requested. So instead of losing a spot...we now stand to gain an infinite amount of spots, and finally have access to an airport that we didn't previously have access to (EWR).


EWR is a smoke screen. No matter what happens the better spots at EWR like Ikea will not change since that is Elizabeth PD land. I shoot at EWR with no issue by simply using my head. This discussion is about the garages and terminals at JFK. Let's stick to that.


And this isn't a victory yet, nor are this week's revelation's useful until we get that memo in-hand and go to the airports to test it all out. So you may be right...it's too early too tell.

Nick, as before, I am still open to suggestions if there is even more you think I can do that I haven't.

How does a spotter get this memo? What happens if a spotter doesn't visit this site? I would rather have to check in with ops or something so they know we are there and have a name. I think it would much more effective.

Landing Lights
11-16-2012, 07:31 AM
Phil, you are a tireless advocate for everyone in this often misunderstood hobby. I think it is obvious that almost everybody here appreciates the hard work that you are doing.

wunaladreamin
11-16-2012, 09:24 AM
Phil, you are a tireless advocate for everyone in this often misunderstood hobby. I think it is obvious that almost everybody here appreciates the hard work that you are doing.
+1 on that Phil.

gonzalu
11-16-2012, 03:29 PM
Nick, you wanted me to PM you. Why didn;t you PM Phil? Just wondering that's all... LOL

wunaladreamin
11-16-2012, 03:35 PM
Someone craves attention Manny.

Gerard
11-16-2012, 06:38 PM
Coming close to moderators locking this down?
After all the crap we've all been through the last few weeks.....CANT WE ALL GET ALONG? :frown:
Geez!!

wunaladreamin
11-16-2012, 08:21 PM
Coming close to moderators locking this down?
After all the crap we've all been through the last few weeks.....CANT WE ALL GET ALONG? :frown:
Geez!!
OH SHUT UP lol :tongue::tongue:

Mateo
11-16-2012, 08:21 PM
http://www.panynj.gov/press-room/media-access.html

Click middle tab that says Videotaping/photography at PA facilities.
This is for commercial and media filming only. Nowhere does that page even suggest that any of those guidelines are intended for non-commercial, private use.

Vidiot
11-16-2012, 09:19 PM
I had to speak fast and get a lot out there in only 3 minutes, and I made it just in time. The part that you didn't hear when I turned around was to the PAPD officers, who had just received heroism awards, saying "This is of course not to discredit the work of the Port Authority Police Department, who do a great job keeping our ports safe everyday..."

I was pleased with the info that I was able to pass along to them. Already, I've received word that a memo is being prepared to be given to all PAPD commanding officers to address the PANYNJ's true policy on photos during roll calls to all PAPD officers.

Spectacular job. Thanks for all you've done, and you're making a real, tangible difference. It's much appreciated.

Gerard
11-17-2012, 07:22 AM
OH SHUT UP lol :tongue::tongue:

OY!!!:eek::eek::cool:

Speedbird1
11-17-2012, 10:08 AM
I also appreciate everything that Phil is trying to do. Like everybody on this site, we a thrilled to see aircraft on the move and the terminals are the best place to see the aircraft, after all. Sadly, many terminals don't allow the public into the departure areas anymore unless ticketed for flights. I have spent countless hours in terminals pre 9-11 and had great times for the most part. The guys bothering me were always from Argenbright, not the PAPD. Amusingly, wasn't Argenbright guards the ones who cleared several of the 9-11 hijackers through on that terrible morning in Boston? They did a great job, however, of chasing-away spotters! I never had any problems with the PA or with TSA but with private guards at the terminals. Hopefully, spotters will be recognized as legitimate and won't be suspect when seen hanging-around airports. "Thanks" also to the guy from SAA at JFK's T4 who pulled the paper baggage tags from me after I told him that I collect these tags and like the multi-color scheme. I now get palps whenever I see the SAA aircraft.

Speedbird1
11-17-2012, 10:26 AM
Phil comes through again. I've been a spotter since the 70's and have seen how bad things are for spotters. It started with PanAm 103 and got much worse after 9-11. While we can understand how our hobby could look suspicious; people and law enforcement must be educated and learn that there are many who love aviation and are friends of the industry. Somebody suggested spotters get special photo IDs to wear around airports easily identifying us after a background check. This idea has never taken-off ground with the authorities. Maybe one-day!

PhilDernerJr
11-18-2012, 02:54 AM
Thank you to those who have offered kind words, your support means a lot. As I said, it's early yet to see what will really come of this, but I am glad to do what I can to help out the hobby. For all the time spent NOT spotting, folks like Matt and I are working on the site and related projects to hopefully serve the aviation world as we can. I am lucky that NYCA gets the this level of traffic and attention that now allows our voice to be heard when speaking to a powerhouse organization like PANYNJ.

NickPeterman
11-18-2012, 11:29 PM
Phil,

Congratulations on a job well done! Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy a little hassle-free night photography next time I'm in town... :D

MSN007
11-18-2012, 11:37 PM
This is great Phil but we have known that photography is allowed as long as it's not of security checkpoints. Nothing new. The problem is PA officers behavior toward us and how it is handled like when they lie to us when they tell us what we do is illegal. Or when a bad seed is encountered like in Bonanza's encounter. I spoke to a friend of my father who was a PA officer who just retired. His opinion is some sort of system is needed where any spotter should touch base with PA ops before they spot so shift officers are aware, etc. Then maybe when the calls come in they can handled better and a officer just doesn't try to run us off.

Like you alluded to before, if indeed a climate does exist among officers or whomever that they would rather discourage spotting then deal with it professionally then that should be your priority in your meeting. If that is addressed and all officers are made aware then we can move forward.

Yes we have that system in place at IAD where we call and notify airport ops our presence if we are at the top of the parking garages. Then the ops will notify the airport police of our presence and its all over.

megatop412
11-19-2012, 10:01 PM
I decided to check back on this thread a month later to see where things stood. Phil you fought the good fight and hopefully some kind of progress will be made.

After reading Fasil's post and remembering that you have to call ahead of time in Boston as well, has anybody ever tried just calling PAPD and saying 'hey, just letting you know this is who I am, this is my car, I'm a plane spotter so I will be taking photos of the planes from some legal locations, then I'll be on my way, thank you.' I'm not asking for people's opinions about what they think would happen if they did that, I am asking if someone actually did it at JFK. If you did, please feel free to detail what happened here.

PhilDernerJr
11-20-2012, 03:04 AM
There was an unofficial procedure just like that at LGA, and it worked for a few months until one day they told us that we couldn't do that.

There was another time where the cops came and were confused as to why we called the cops on ourselves since photography wasn't allowed.

Tom_Turner
11-27-2012, 10:31 PM
I don't have a problem with the PA creating a rule banning photography on their property. If one is created, so be it. What we all should have a problem with, is their offers and employees making up law as they go, which is unacceptable. I support anyone who was harassed by a PAPD officer.



Was that this year? If not, that happened this year as well. A new parks employee at NW Park called the police, and a NCPD officer rolled down to talk to us. After we had a little chat, he said he knows it's not illegal, finish what we were there to do, and he wouldn't kick us out. How nice is that? It's long been my opinion the Port Authority has just been being clever all these post 911 years. NJ Transit and MTA (and many others) have found out the hard way they have very little in the way of legitimate legal standing to "ban" photography in what some imagine is "their world". The misguided perception is that, for example, and I read this years ago on an Anet forum "Massport [or whoever] can do whatever they want" on their property, in their sphere of influence, etc. Again, this is an incorrect notion. It may seem that way, but laws, policies, rules etc must always be reasonable rational and practical if they are to survive a challenge. Mindless photography "bans" will not pass muster in even the medium term and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is smart enough to know this. And perhaps their unofficial piecemeal approach to the "issue" has some merit (I am not certain), but for it to work, restraint and wisdom has to be a part of the professionalism they expect from *all* their frontline officers. And most seem to quite good in my experience, but not this time.

Speedbird1
12-04-2012, 06:53 AM
I wish there was a petition to sign like the one going-around now to save the PanAm Worldport. It may not do any good, like those MTA hearings on fare hikes which are a joke, but at least it's something. Imagine a day when spotters don't have to look over their shoulder to see if they are being watched and harrassed. At least if the airports would offer a special observation area for spotters, that would be something! Remember when LGA used to have rocking chairs encouraging spotters at the Central Terminal?