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PV Alert: Can I Take Photos at the Checkpoint and Airport?


Old Nov 26, 10, 1:28 pm
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Houston
Posts: 8,946
Originally Posted by Street Photographer View Post
Rule 7.14 states:

(a) No person shall take still, motion or sound motion pictures or voice recordings on the facilities and airports under the jurisdiction of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (the “Authority”) without written permission from the Authority’s Executive Director or his or her designee.

(b) Filming of X-ray equipment located on the facilities and airports under the jurisdiction of the Authority is strictly prohibited. Any person(s) caught filming such X-ray equipment may have their film confiscated.
Street Photographer, welcome to FlyerTalk. I don't see how such a rule would hold up in court.
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Old Dec 21, 10, 5:09 pm
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I just called all of 'em (at least that I have on my flyer, that have phone #s) to double check, since it's been a while since Phil's emails.

* means they need to be called back, something pending, or need more info

LMK if you have contact info for airports not listed below (or whose only listing is bogus); I'd like the flyer to have accurate, live contact numbers / people.

tl;dr: Almost universally, the situation is:
1. higher-up TSA people say the policy is no restrictions except no photos of x-ray screens and no interfering w/ the line
2. airport reps think TSA policy is no photo/video allowed whatsoever; when pressed, they say that airport itself has no rules against private people, and requires a hold-harmless contract for commercial
3. the majority of lower-level people think that no photo/video is allowed; some think that it's also not allowed to photograph TSA agents, machines, procedures, etc.
4. only spoke to LGA & MDW police, but see LGA for even worse response
5. "in" vs "at" the checkpoint is unclear

It seems to me that the TSA has failed pretty badly at communicating its policies to its subordinates, local police, etc. and that in doing so they're opening themselves up to enormous liability when those subordinates mistakenly act in a way that violates 42 U.S.C. ß 1983 & 1st Amendment protections.

TSA Switchboard (24/6) 866 289 967
TSA Ombudsman 877 266 283
TSA Public Affairs 571 227 2829 / 877 632 7327
TSA customer service 480 375 2626 (just wait ~2 minutes) - per "Hilda": anyone can take pictures in the airport, don't take pictures in the tarmac where planes are, or of 'specific areas' or security process (i.e. they are mistaken about actual federal TSA policy)

REGIONAL public affairs specialists
AK IN MT NV OR UT WA WY Dwayne Baird 801-906-2345 dwayne.baird@dhs.gov - same as national (no xrays, no interfering, otherwise free)
? AK FL MI PR Sari Koshetz 305 421 2446 sari.koshetz@dhs.gov - voicemail points to email
DE NJ NY PA Ann Davis 6177338437 - you can take pictures *of* the checkpoint from outside, but you can't take pictures *in* the checkpoint once you pass the TDC, even if you're a ticketed passenger
ID IL MI KY OH WI Jim Fotenos 17733771230 / 847 720 0117 x7733771230 / 773 766 6941 james.fotenos@dhs.gov - we ask as a professional courtesy to not interfere with queue lines, give heads up for visiting media, don't video xray screens. Local TSA policy is NOT different but airports themselves or city/county ordinance might be.
* CO, ... Carrie Harmon 720 479 3129 o / 303 204 2134 c - voicemail left
? midwest, NJ, NY, ... Lara Uselding 773-573-8168 - call dropped
* OR, ... Tina Burke 503-889-3055 tina.burke@dhs.gov (same Tina Burke as 202-267-4143 tburke@comdt.uscg.mil ?) - voicemail left

LOCAL airports
Dan Jiron 5052447706 (ask for transfer) Personal: OK, non-commercial: permit, checkpoints per federal TSA rules

Ann Davis 617 733 8437, TSA northeast public affairs
Phil Orlandella 617 561 1819, media relations; commercial requires permit; journalists are not commercial, can't go through security, can film anything they see from a public area w/out interfering, request headsup; taking pictures consistently for hours is 'suspicious' (unclear if as in technical 'reasonable suspicion'); taking pictures *of* the checkpoint from outside is OK, but *in* the checkpoint is prohibited; past security is leased airline property, and requires their permission; need permission to do a survey at the airport or pass out flyers (e.g. college students dressed in Muslim gear doing surveys of Muslim travelers - what would they be using that for??)

* COS http://www.springsgov.com/units/airp...bersToKnow.pdf
COS media relations 719 550 1900 / 1919 - will call back; points to Jackson
Kelly Jackson 719 550 1917 be
COS TSA 719 591 3122; points to Harmon

Bob Kapp 303-342-6512 / 303 346 6512 - voicemail

Chuck Sloan 469.948.1828 / 817.233.0432 - voicemail
Leslie Young 972.973.5489 DFW legal dept - sick leave, person answering said she'd check and call me back, but this is correct PoC

Courtney Mickalonis 703-417-8370 - personal OK in public (non-checkpoint) areas, TSA rules at checkpoint, commercial permit; policies @ http://mwaa.com/newsroom.html
kawika riley 571 227 1966 local TSA rep - will email me back official local TSA policy, said they ask people not to take any pictures of checkpoints

customer service 303 780 3737

* EUG http://www.flyeug.com/pdf/2010%2520Media%2520Guide.pdf
Cathryn Stephens, Director of Communication & Development, Eugene Airport, 541 682 6638 / 541-682-5430, cathryn.e.stephens@ci.eugene.or.us
Dwayne Baird, TSA regional public affairs 801-906-2345 dwayne.baird@dhs.gov
Tina Burke, Stakeholder and Customer Service Manager, TSA Portland Office, 503-889-3055, tina.burke@dhs.gov

Rene Harris 317-390-6917 - busy

FMY, RSW http://www.flylcpa.com/uploads/pagesfiles/497.pdf
airport public affairs (239) 590-4504

* LCH http://www.flylakecharles.com/Images...ia%20guide.pdf
TSA (850) 430-2220

Ralph Tragale 212-435-3730; 2124357777 media relations - out of office, will call back
Guy Lanis 718-803-5448 TSA stakeholder manager - voicemail
april vasquez 718-533-3400
police 718-533-3900 there's no law against it, but posted port authority rules & regs prohibit it on "restricted areas" including checkpooints; you will be harassed every time, and if you continue to take pictures/video, you will be arrested for "disorderly conduct"
* someone please find out what exactly PA reg prohibits this (if indeed any)

William A. Kretchik 407-563-4074 - phone disconnected

Jim Kilmer 773-498-1308 - local TSA policies same as federal (i.e. no restriction except xray screens); call police to get Dept. of Aviation info
Maureen Joyce 773-838-0647 media relations - no video of airfield; no film/video after checkpoint for publication
watch commander 773-838-0667 - could not cite any rules other than TSA; mistakenly believed TSA prohibits photo/video of checkpoint

* MRY http://www.montereyairport.com/docum...LICIES_000.pdf
Suzanne Trevin, TSA public affairs (602) 501-3195
airport operations (831) 648-7000 x200

Owen Winder 773 377 1215 TSA customer service manager - no different rules from federal; rules have been told to chief CPD people; "interfering" can have widely variable interpretation
Karen Pride 773 686 3706 spokesperson MDW/ORD - points to http://flychicago.com/PDF/News/CDAMe..._092010_v8.pdf
chicago aviation media relations 773 686 3700 - phone tree

April Ellis 909-472-0113 / 909-229-1853 TSA customer support - TSA rules same as federal
public affairs office 909-544-5360

Philip Kaiser 602-794-3143 busy / 571-268-4191 disconnected
Alicia Smith 602 273 8874 voicemail
Mike Sotomayor 602 273 3300 communications center - thinks TSA prohibits any photo/video of checkpoint, incl. pointing cameras at checkpoint; no laws or airport policy per se against it; was not authorized to give direct contact # for TSA, gave nat'l customer service # instead
Brian Toll, TSA stakeholder manager 480 375 2523 voicemail: "There is no difference in Phoenix [vs] the post the national policy on that. Passengers are not prohibited from taking photographs or video within the check point. As long as they're not interfering with screening operations or videotaping or recording the sensitive security information. There are limited areas within the check point that contain what we consider to be sensitive security information, but as a general the the main part of the check point itself and where you're watch passengers are being screened and bags being screened, that sort of thing, that would not be prohibited."; followup: xray monitors, bags etc, SOP books, etc - the process itself, screening, pat downs, etc that is NOT prohibited, as long as you're not interfering with the security process. There's no policy against it. If you're travelling w/ a companion they can video your patdown, but you can't hold camera during your own. There's absolutely nothing that prohibits recording yourself or your companion going through the checkpoint (other than you can't touch your stuff after WTMD until done). Been AFSD/screening @ other airports for last 5 years+.

Jeff Martinelli 412-472-3581 public affairs manager; no airport rules against photo/video if you're allowed to be there in the first place; commercial requires 'hold harmless' contract; TSA rules apply if physically in checkpoint area
Laura A. Snell 412-375-4063 TSA - voicemail left

PNS http://www.flypensacola.com/_files/c...aGuide2010.pdf
Sari Koshetz, TSA Public Affairs Manager (571) 227-2829
airport operations center (850) 436-5000

J Robert Smith 916 205 5935 TSA customer service manager; TSA local rules same as nat'l
airport public relations 916 874 0601 - forward to Swankie
Gina Swankie 916 874 0791 - journalists: asked to contact PR, need to be in public area, commercial permit required, peak hours downstairs due to congestion; airport doesn't have any rules on private citizens
SMF communications center 916 929 5411 x0

Kelly Figley 813 801 6028 out of office until Jan 3; voicemail pointing to Thomas
Debby Thomas 813 870 8719 secretary community relations - voicemail
Michael McElroy 813 227 4065 - voicemail

Last edited by saizai; Dec 23, 10 at 3:16 pm
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Old Dec 21, 10, 5:42 pm
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Thanks, Saizai!

I've contacted Sea-Tac via TSA's "Got Feedback?" form several times in recent months, asking them the same question I asked in 2009, but have never received a response.
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Old Dec 23, 10, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by pmocek View Post
Thanks, Saizai!

I've contacted Sea-Tac via TSA's "Got Feedback?" form several times in recent months, asking them the same question I asked in 2009, but have never received a response.
So far, I've gotten excellent responsiveness from pretty much everyone via their media contact phone numbers.

As I said, they clearly have communication issues with people on the ground and to a lesser degree between themselves (viz. above the difference in Fotenos' and Davis' interpretations of what's permissible "at" the checkpoint). But as to reachability by phone, once you know the media contact info, it's very good.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 10:37 pm
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Miami International Airport - TSA & Local Photo/Video Policy

As per Bob Burns at TSA who published on March 31, 2009, that TSA places no restriction on photography or video recording in airports unless the activity interferes with TSA operations
  • On that date, he also wrote that TSA discourages (but does not prohibit) photography of computer monitors at TSA search stations. Additionally, he wrote, "while the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might. Your best bet is to call ahead and see what that specific airport's policy is. He suggests you use the Got Feedback program to directly contact the Customer Support Manager at the airport you're going to be traveling through. They will have an answer for you and if they don't, they can connect you with somebody who does."

Does the TSA policies at Miami International which supersede those described by Mr. Burns? Are you aware of any applicable local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances?

here is the answer:

Miami-Dade Airport Police Department (MDPD) MDPD, located at the airport, coordinates and provides law enforcement protection for Miami International Airport - Phone: 305-876-7373

Miami International Airport Codified Laws:http://www.miami-airport.com/rules_and_regulations.asp
Miami - Dade County, Florida, Code of Ordinances >> PART III - CODE OF ORDINANCES >> Chapter 25 - AVIATION DEPARTMENT RULES AND REGULATIONS >>
Commercial photography, film and recordings. No person unless authorized in writing by the Department, or when appropriate by permit issued under Section 2-11.14 of this Code, shall take still, motion, or sound motion pictures or sound records or recordings of voices or otherwise for commercial, training or educational purposes, other than news coverage, in public areas of the terminal or on the public areas of any facility under the administration of the Department. As a condition of authorization, the Department may require reimbursement for its costs of personnel, equipment and/or supplies used in support of such activity, and may impose fair and equitable rental rates for extended use of any space under the administration of the Department. (Ord. No. 75-113, § 2, 12-2-75; Ord. No. 76-112, § 4, 12-21-76; Ord. No. 95-41, § 63, 3-7-95)

The importance to knowing and asserting your rights. Taken at Miami International Airport, showing that the Police were respectful, and willing to actually acknowledge and research the filming.

If questioned be sure to let them know that you are an independent/citizen journalist if you do not have press credentials. And politely refuse to provide ID.

If you attempt to photograph in an airport you may run into an over zealous cop that does not know the law.
  • If a cop demands to see your photos, you have the right to refuse.
  • The cop has the right to seize your camera if he feels a crime has been committed and you may destroy the evidence of that crime.
  • The cop must be able to articulate what crime he feels was committed.
  • The cop does NOT have the right to search the camera without your consent or a warrant. Require they get a warrant.
  • The cop does NOT have the right to delete the image or to require you to delete the image.
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