Monday, November 22, 2010

Did I violate Ontario International Airport's rules and regulations on September 21, 2008?

If you read my Empoprise-BI business blog, you may have just read my second post in a series regarding the citation given to Sam Wolanyk for an alleged violation of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Code 7.14(a). This broadly written clause reads as follows:

(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.

Upon reading that clause, I observed:

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.

That irrefutable evidence can be found in an Empoprise-IE post entitled Self-portrait (#openworld08 DOES make Empoprise-IE). In that post, I (or someone who looks very very much like me and hacked my blog) admits that the picture was taken at the Applebee's at the airport.

Of course, the airport does not fall under the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. It falls under Los Angeles World Airports. So what does the April 2010 code (PDF) for Ontario's airport say?

2.12 Commercial/Non-Commercial Filming, Student Filming and Photography:

LA/Ontario Airport Operations has the responsibility of coordinating and
supervising filming activities as mandated by LAWA Board of Airport
Commissioners Resolution # 18978. All entities, including tenants, must contact
the ONT Film Desk, (909) 975-5345, prior to conducting any filming (feature film, television show, or television news magazine), video (music or training), or photographic project at ONT.

a. Film Production companies, airport tenants, students and others requesting to film, photograph, or videotape projects of a commercial, promotional or training nature at ONT must obtain a Film Permit in advance of the proposed production date. See LAWA - ONT Filming.

b. An ONT Film Permit does not constitute a contract. Film Permits are conditional, subject to ONT security and operational requirements, the needs of its tenants, and the traveling public.

c. Filming activity is permitted only in locations approved by the ONT Film Desk, and requires a production location scout, or technical scout, prior to filming. Filming is not allowed on any lessee's premises or lessee's facilities, unless specifically stated as a permitted use in the lease agreement, or unless individual permission is granted by the Executive Director or her/his duly authorized representative.

Now I could possibly claim that the Empoprise-IE blog is not a "photographic project," but you never know how laws could be enforced.

Of course, these airport rules are just a subset of rules that are alleged to conflict with First Amendment rights of free speech - the argument being that an airport, or a grocery store, or wherever is essentially a public place and not private property.

But if you want to play it safe, the next time you go to Ontario International Airport, bring a sketch artist.

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