Monday, November 22, 2010

More on San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Violation Code 7.14(a)

When I wrote my post San Diego Harbor Police Violation Code 7.14(a) - what is it?, it went to Twitter (among other places). After seeing it, @portofsandiego tweeted the following:

@empoprises @markjaquith @NuclearMoose The code you are referencing is not a Port code. It is a @SanDiegoAirport Authority code.

This is in response to several tweets. Mark Jaquith asked the basic question:

Is it really illegal to record at a TSA checkpoint? Show me the law, please.

Jacquith was carrying on a lively conversation with several tweeters, including the aforementioned @NuclearMoose, who tweeted:

@markjaquith - Patriot Act, perhaps? Seems to me as an non-American that it gives pretty much total power to gov't over citizen's rights.

Jacquith was also conversing with @chipbennett, who observed:

@markjaquith @kenny and don't you just love that her camera was confiscated - you know, to avoid any TSA-incriminating evidence

Anyway, back to the original tweet from @portofsandiego. I checked the @SanDiegoAirport Twitter feed, but found no tweets about the Sam Wolanyk incident. But the Twitter account did include a link to the airport's website, and there I found Code 7.14 regarding filming (PDF):



(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.

My first thought upon reading this is that this is a badly written law. I'll grant that Ontario International Airport does not fall under the jurisdiction of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, but if it did, I have broken clause (a) many, many times. For example, on September 21, 2008 I have irrefutable evidence that I took a picture at an airport. And no, I can't argue that was my evil twin.

Also look at clause (b), which was obviously written some time ago. If the airport authority were to observe the letter of the law, then anyone with a digital camera would not have anything confiscated, because there would be nothing to film. In addition, the (non-existent) film could only be confiscated if the person filmed an X-ray machine. Ignoring clause (a) for the moment and just concentrating on clause (b), it would be perfectly permissible"film" a TSA worker, or someone being strip searched, or anything else, provided that you didn't take a picture of an X-ray machine.

Which is, of course, why Wolanyk was charged under 7.14(a), the generic provision that prohibits any filming at the airport.

Of course, if Wolanyk were to be charged under that clause, then I'm sure that the San Diego Regional Airport Authority has gone after lawbreakers such as this person, this person, and this person. All of these people took "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" and, as far as can be ascertained, did not obtain "written permission from the Authority’s Executive Director or his or her designee" before doing so.

So if people feel that San Diego Regional Airport Authority Code 7.14(a) is silly and should be repealed, then where do they turn? Well, there's a Board:

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is governed by a nine-member Board, with three additional members serving ex officio. Board members serve 3-year terms and may be reappointed....

Board Member Bios (in alphabetical order)

Laurie Berman, Ex-Officio Member | District 11 Director CEA, CALTRANS

Laurie Berman was appointed in November 2009 as the District Director for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 11, encompassing San Diego and Imperial counties. She has more than two dozen years of experience with Caltrans and is responsible for the daily operation of 1,300 employees and more than 1,000 highway lane miles. Ms. Berman oversees $1.3 billion worth of highway construction projects and programs throughout the two-county area. Prior to her appointment to District Director, Ms. Berman served as the district’s Chief Deputy Director of Project Delivery....

Bruce R. Boland | Appointed by Mayor, City of San Diego
Email - 619.400.2408

Bruce Boland is a retired Rear Admiral U.S. Navy with a Naval Service career of more than 30 years. He was a Naval Aviator involved in Fighter Carrier Aviation and commanded Fighter Squadron 24 at Naval Air Station Miramar flying F8 Crusaders. His Navy career culminated with his appointment in 1985 as the Navy's regional commander in San Diego. In 1987 he was appointed Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and later the Director of Public Works for the County of San Diego. One of his responsibilities at the County included oversight of the eight County owned airports. He was appointed in 1993 as President/CEO of the United Way of San Diego County and served until 1999....

Greg Cox, Executive Committee Member | Appointed by San Diego County Board of Supervisors
Email - 619.400.2408

Greg Cox joined the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 1995. He began his public service career as an educator in the Sweetwater Union High School District. He was elected to the Chula Vista City Council and later served two terms as Mayor of Chula Vista. The Governor of California appointed him Director of Local Government for the Office of Planning and Research from 1991 – 92. Mr. Cox also built successful businesses in the private sector....

Jim Desmond | Appointed by North Inland area mayors
Email - 619.400.2408

A fifteen year resident of San Marcos, Mr. Desmond was elected mayor of San Marcos in November 2006. Active in his community, he served as a San Marcos City Council member, Planning Commissioner, Chamber of Commerce Board member, and as President of the San Marcos Economic Development Corp. He is currently on the Board of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)....

Ramona Finnila | Appointed by North Coastal area mayors
Email - 619.400.2408

Ramona Finnila served on the Carlsbad City Council for 12 years. During that time she was Carlsbad's representative to SANDAG where she served two-year terms as Vice-Chair and then Chair. She was also on the Executive Committee of the Local Government Commission, which is based in Sacramento....

Robert H. Gleason, Board Chair, Executive Committee Member | Appointed by Mayor, City of San Diego
Email - 619.400.2408

Robert Gleason is chief financial officer and general counsel for Evans Hotels, which owns and operates The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa and the Bahia Resort Hotel, where he has been employed for over 20 years. In addition, he is on leave as adjunct faculty member in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University....

Jim Panknin | Appointed by East County area mayors
Email - 619.400.2408

James "Jim" Panknin has worked in aviation- related activities for over twenty five years. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He successfully completed a 20-year career as a Marine Corps Pilot flying helicopters and turboprop aircraft in airports all over the world. Mr. Panknin flew commercial charter aircraft based at Lindbergh Field from 2004 to 2008 as the Chief Pilot at Jimsair. Jim is the President of San Diego Executive Flight, a local Aircraft Management and Charter Company....

Colonel Frank A. Richie, Ex-Officio Member | U.S. Department of the Navy Representative

Colonel Richie is currently serving as the Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. He served operational tours at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. During his operational tours he participated in Operation Desert Storm, contingency operations over the former Bosnia Herzegovina, Operation Iraqi Freedom and numerous deployments to the Pacific region....

Paul Robinson | Appointed by Governor, State of California

Since 1982, Mr. Robinson has served as partner for the San Diego law firm of Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg and Bagley, where he was also an associate from 1980 to 1982. Previously, Robinson was assistant to San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson from 1978 to 1980 and was deputy city attorney for San Diego from 1973 to 1978. He is a member of the Real Property and Public Law Sections of the California State Bar and of the Real Estate and Land Use Sections of the San Diego County Bar Association....

Tom Smisek, Vice Chair, Executive Committee Member | Appointed by South County area mayors
Email - 619.400.2408

A long time resident of Coronado, Mr. Smisek was first elected to the Coronado City Council in 1992. He was elected Mayor in November, 1996 and re-elected in November 2000 and 2004. Active in his community, he served as City Councilmember and Planning Commissioner for the City of Coronado for eight years before becoming Mayor. He also served as a Board member on the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Board....

Anthony Young | Appointed by Mayor, City of San Diego
Email - 619.400.2408

A life-long resident of San Diego, Mr. Young was elected City Councilmember in January 2005 and was appointed City Council President Pro Tem in January 2006....

Thella F. Bowens, President/CEO

In March 2003, Thella F. Bowens was appointed President/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the owner and operator of San Diego International Airport as of January 1, 2003. As President/CEO, Ms. Bowens is responsible for management oversight of the Airport Authority, the Authority’s $148 million annual budget and approximately 367 employees....

So if you want to overturn this code provision, you need to oust a bunch of people from the board. Let's see what Jerry Brown does.

And incidentally, those who are tying this incident in to TSA abuses may be wrong in this instance, as Voice of San Diego notes.

The Transportation Security Administration — the agency behind all those new X-rays and pat-downs — doesn't care whether you record video or audio in an airport. It has no policy against it. But the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority does.

Voice of San Diego asked about the code provision cited above.

Why do the rules exist? "I think this is all about security," said Ronald Powell, spokesman for the port district, which provides law enforcement services at the airport.

He thinks. Yup.

Voice of San Diego also quotes Terry Francke of Californians Aware:

"Normally when regulations are justified through limited control on time, place or manner, they have to serve a very important government purpose," Francke said. He said the part of the airport's rule that allows filming with permission raises questions about who could legally record and who couldn't.

I will share any instances of unapproved "filming" at the airport. But for now, people who fly in and out of San Diego airport should watch out - someone may try to take 35mm film from your digital camera.
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