Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner)If you're not a professional pilot but want to discuss issues about the job, this is the best place to loiter. You won't be moved on by 'security' and there'll be plenty of experts to answer any questions.
Aviation enthusiasts left intimidated while viewing at St Athan
A number of aviation enthusiasts have of late been offered abusive behaviour whilst viewing aircraft on the Old Llantwit Major road which is situated alongside the Southern Boundary of RAF St Atahn, Vale of Glamorgan.
No, but I can't help noticing how quickly spots around certain airfields/airports become overrun with litter. I don't blame the real enthusiasts (spotters) for this as I know that most want to preserve these good spots. The worst offenders are often passing visitors with families. In some cases, as in Birmingham some years ago now, one popular access road off the A45 had to be closed to the detriment of the true enthusiasts because it became an unofficial dumping ground. I know it's already done by some, but I recommend that the local spotting fraternity at airports take it upon themselves, on a voluntary basis, to keep spotting areas litter free.
if the farmer is intimidating or using threatening behaviour then they should report him to the authorities. they should be able to put him in his place and make him aware it's a public road and he has no rights over it.
Have to say some of these anoraks are a total menace, at our airport these types are forever blocking emergency entrances and generally making a bloody menace of themselves, if i had my way id ban them from airport perimeters
Can understand that walter, but have difficulty with it on military airfields where the older spotters' taxes will have paid for what they are looking at, and the younger ones could be the recruits of tomorrow.
In the 1950s I was regularly moved on by the cops from the fence at RAF Biggin Hill. Didn't stop me though. Cut forward 10 years, when I am on a Comet flying from Akrotiri to Lyneham with my squadron boss:
Boss: "You always been interested in aircraft?" (I was his squadron junior engineer)
Me: "Yes, from the age of 6, nothing else interested me. Used to cycle 9 miles to Biggin Hill, just to see what was going on. Always a battle with the cops, but once had a grandstand view of the London-Paris air race, where some Group Captain was winched down from a helicopter into the right hand seat of a Hunter T7 which then scrambled for Paris."
Boss: "I was the pilot of that Hunter!"
So, make provision for spotters. Give them a spot to occupy (with a good view, a wooden bench or two and The Rules clearly posted) and give them a wave as you taxy past. Best of all, as at one fighter station I served at, send the NAAFI wagon down there mid morning and make a few bob flogging them teas and hot pasties.
if i had my way id ban them from airport perimeters
Errr........why??? Live and let live.
Go along with D120A's suggestion: make decent provision for those who wish to view activities. Banning things often has little positive effect, if folk want to do something they will just get on and do it anyway.
As long the police don't do what happened in Central Liverpool outside an MoD building in the city centre. Given many don't know it is MoD but at the time due to activities over the water security was somewhat enhanced. Staff call police about a car outside, illegally parked, they cordon area off and call the RAOC bomb squad who promptly deploy wheelbarrow, attach disrupters, and you've guessed it BANG. Car reduced to wreck but no bomb found. On lifting the cordon the owner appears say what f**k have you done to my car. Merseyside police officer ascertaining he was the owner promptly did him for illeagal parking.
Moral of this story, just be careful where you park.
waltersofty your attitude to spotters in the spotters corner bears a striking similarity to previous banned members kevlarcarl and simonchowder, which according to some here are your previous id's. So you don't like spotters, if that is correct, stay out of of spotters corner and keep every one happy.
Sorry you feel that way! Don't blame us for not having an hobby you enjoy!?
Spending a long weekend at LHR a couple of weeks ago, I witnessed all aircraft enthusiasts taking great care in not getting in the way of the authorities or obstructing any crashgates or emergency exits! The culprits, if you want to call them that, are the families who come and watch the aircraft with their kids and are oblivious to the unsafe situations which they can create by parking illegaly etc.. Us spotters are actually well aware of what we can and cannot do round airport boundaries.
Last edited by Smoketrails; 8th Sep 2012 at 19:40.
Very sad that many who work in aviation view those for whom it is a hobby with such disdain.
Among those clad in anoraks, (and they often have to be, because aerodrome perimeters are exposed to the elements), may be the pilots, ATCOs and aviation managers of tomorrow.
In actual fact some of the spotters are ATCO's! Quite a few don't actually see the aircraft they control and take an interest in seeing the real things at airports.
I can't condone parking in front of emergency exits etc. but if the paranoia about security subsided a bit I think spotters would be only to happy to park legally in a designated spot on the perimeter. Some people give the impression that they'd rather tolerate muggers and murderers rather than spotters, whereas spotting is a totally innocuous activity.
Sadly many spotters seem to think airports exist solely to enable them to collect reg numbers and do not seem aware of the chaos they cause
Happily, the authorities don't seem to share the poster's view:
Bedfordshire Police value the aviation enthusiasts as the eyes and ears of the police and the airport community. They are all knowledgeable people with enquiring minds and an interest in what happens at the airport. We wish to work with them to harness that interest and use it to help make London Luton Airport a safer place for all of us.
Isn't the answer, as in so many things in life, to work with the spotters, rather than against?
I would work with the authorities towards setting up a proper safe demarcated area, charge a nominal fee (50p) for using it, which would cover refuse collection, and make more money from a refreshment facility. If you make people feel useful and wanted (Luton - last post) they will usually respond positively.
Your first sentence sums up the whole problem.Most airfields recognize an area where most spotters congregate,and seem to accept the situation.There are a couple of major airports in the U.K where they appear to not tolerate spotters at all,altho'one has a "visitors centre" which will be usless when the planted trees reach maturity(why did the tree planting stop just as it reached the edge of a certain well known hotel who advertize views over the airfield).With the cost as the consistant policing,would it not be possibly as cheap to designate an area where the majority would gather,and then concentrate on the 'loose cannons'who decide they know better(and yes i accept there are some).
I think dedicated spotter pens are an answer, That way these characters can do what ever it is they do without creating serious safety hazards/ getting under the feet of those who have work to perform or cause inconvinence to the travelling public , levy a fair charge, say a tenner a day, and everyones a winner
A tenner a day is probably enough to put some people off using the dedicated area, and all that will achieve is spreading them over a wider area as they seek places where they can park without paying, which is why I suggested a nominal charge.