Airport Watch PHX

By: Category: FriendsPHXSpottingUncategorized

Airport Watch First class 2012



A project that started well over a year ago has finally been completed. With the first class to graduate the Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol program (PNP). The Airport Watch first class members include, Jason Bong, Felipe Garcia, Billy Ellison (Wild Bill), Peter Nickerson, Ron McLellan, and Saurabh Patel. Airport Watch AZ has already logged in over 100 hours since the class has been active.

Some information about how the process got started. Just over a year ago, I received some information pertaining to other Airport Watch Programs globally. There were only two Airport Watch Programs in North America, which include Chicago (ORD), Minneapolis St-Paul (MSP) and “coming soon” Phoenix (PHX). There were countless meetings with the Phoenix Police Department Aviation Bureau that included meetings with TSA, and Phoenix Operations.  So after our many meetings, we were one step closer and decided that we would start our first class with 5-10 members. Since this was a new program, we wanted to make sure we had all our items in line. With a smaller group it makes it easier to work out all the bugs that we expect to happen.

There has been some miscommunication in the “Spotter community” or Aviation Photographers about our program. “We don’t want to pay to play”. That can’t be farther from the truth. We have waived all membership fees and our intent is not to make spotting at PHX impossible for any photographer or tail spotter. We are actually making is better for Aviation Photographers.  I am sure that our readers have at one time been approached by some agency at PHX whether it is TSA, Operations, or Phoenix Police department. And we all have felt the effects post 9/11. With all the Anti-photo airports, Phoenix is one of the friendliest. When I am approached by one of the agencies, it feels great to show my Airport Watch badge and know that I am helping protect our great airport.  We are already out there, so why not contribute to help preserve our “Friendliest Airport” status. We are already planning our next class. We are also working on a cleaning day out at 40th Street spotting location. We have been notified that local businesses are being vocal with the trash and debris that is left after someone is done spotting.

Airport Watch has been in contact with a local business to see about getting some portable restrooms placed out at the 40th Street spotting location. Airport Watch is not just open to PHXSpotters members, it is open to all local photographers who are willing to give back to the community. Interested photographers who would like more information about our program can go to and take the next step by filling out a Member application.

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