1. Joel_Zimmerman's Avatar
    Hi there.

    Throughout England, there used to be aircraft viewing areas at all major airports, especially the Skyview in LGW and Spectators area in LHR. Since 2001, the areas have since long gone and numerous excuses have been placed on the table. LHR's reason is reasonalble, since they're rebuilding Terminal 2 but they aren't including the Spectators area anymore which is very disappointing. In LGW, they closed the Skyview in 2004 when French Global Infrastructure Partnership took it over. Their apparent reason is because they were going to build extra gates but to this day, the Skyview's view of the whole airport apron, gates and terminals are still in FULL view. No building works and still no sign of development. Though, after 2001, BAA (the previous LGW owners) were quite reluctant to keep it open and increased security. I don't know why they did this. In the USA, have viewing areas for spectators been disappearing since 2001? I'd like to know why. Surely, it cannot be to do with the 9/11 attacks; bringing in weapons such as an SA-7 anti-aircraft missile to an airport is an unwise idea since they're not discreet. You have more chance of shooting one down over central London on final approach.

    Thanks for any insight.

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    Last edited by Joel_Zimmerman; 09-18-11 at 08:00 AM.
    09-18-11 07:57 AM
  2. the_sandman_454's Avatar
    I suspect they're closing these areas not because of people directly bringing in weapons to the observation areas, but rather that they don't want people to be able to study operations and find a weakness in the security procedures to exploit.

    The local airport doesn't have an observation area anymore from what I've seen based on the few times I've been there.
    09-18-11 09:06 AM
  3. Joel_Zimmerman's Avatar
    I understand that they're paranoid about things like observation, but major airport websites show information on aircraft movements. Enthusiast sites have teams of spotters who jot down the exact local times of what aircraft do within airports, whether it be towing, maintenance hangars, push-back from gates etc. I've been questioned by police at LCY and LHR why I was there numerous times and had my address taken down which I feel discriminated upon.

    Once, me and my friend were standing in the LGW North Terminal using FlightRadar24 on his phone. We were reciting the airline name, flight number and registration for most of the aircraft in live time on the radar a few minutes before they came into view. Some smarta*s police officer thought to ask how we know exactly what's coming in and out. He asked us questions such as what was in our bag and pockets. Yeah, like it was any of his business. He tried to force us out of the airport premisis but we just travelled to the South Terminal.

    To be honest, 9/11 should not have happened since everyone's so paranoid about bombs. One mention of the word "bomb" in airports and poeple look at you. Bus stations and train stations aren't tightened on security after the London 7/7 attacks, so why airports? Aircraft continue to serve the most safest mode of transport in the world, yet people are scared to fly on them.

    Extremists just ruin everything for the rest of us I guess.

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    09-18-11 03:30 PM
  4. the_sandman_454's Avatar
    Aircraft make better weapons than trains or busses if someone really wants to make a dramatic attack, just as a guess. Also, busses and trains in the UK can't be used to strike at US interests since they can't exactly drive here. People can, however learn things and sneak things on board aircraft and have an effect on the US. I'm sure part of the added security was a result of pressure from the US.
    Last edited by the_sandman_454; 09-18-11 at 04:36 PM.
    09-18-11 04:30 PM
  5. SCrid2000's Avatar
    The airports just don't want to be sued if something does happen; they want to be able to say "we took every precaution, so it's not our faults."

    Sent from my NookColor using Tapatalk
    09-18-11 06:33 PM
  6. Joel_Zimmerman's Avatar
    Both replies are good points; buses are slow and trains apply emergency brakes when travelling over red signals and at a certain speed. If further attacks occur, indeed the blame would be put on security. Flaws in airport security definitely should improve due to terrorism when travelling on aircraft since hundreds and if not thousands of people die in terrorist attacks, sure, but it does go too far in some instances.

    My mother was flying from LGW to BFS (Ireland) and security stopped her for having perfume. It was 50ml so we couldn't see what the problem was. They pointed out that the name was "Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb" and confiscated it after a long argument. What a waste of 50 because the name had "bomb" on it. If anything, wouldn't a terrorist would want an aircraft at least as large as an Airbus A321-200, not a twin-propeller Bombardier Dash-8?

    Terrorist attacks have occured in Madrid, Moscow and London alike since terrorists can cause massive devestation by wearing bombs. When the 7/7 attacks in the UK took place, sure, there was panic and turmoil. After the investigation cleared, commuters used the same Underground lines and bus routes as if they didn't bat an eye. Even those not caught in the attack still strived to get to work the next day using other routes. The bus service number has not changed and neither has anything with the Underground services.

    When I travel on aircraft, I obey all FAA rules I can, so I don't see how a camera, a sandwich and a cream cake in my bag is appealing to an officer when I get searched. What would he be expecting? My friend and I really didn't appreciate being assumed to be "a pair of drugged up shoplifters" and told rudely to get off the airport premises.

    Yes, airport security within departure lounges and duty free should be tight, even more tighter if I say so myself since a lot of pilots don't actuallly get screened when they board their aircraft, but being offensive and taking perfume names seriously is just way over the top.

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    09-18-11 09:47 PM