The spotters have lost access to nearly all their favorite locations due to new security regulations within the Israel Airports Authority: ‘It seems like they have declared war on the spotting hobby in Israel.’

Flight enthusiasts in Israel suffered a serious blow recently, thanks to a decision to fence off open areas near Ben Gurion airport, which aviation fans have used to watch the planes. The fences will prevent the “spotters” from photographing aircraft upon take off and landing, with the Israel Airports Authority citing security considerations as the primary motive for the decision.

The authority closed off a gravel yard near the village of Zafriya a year ago, followed by the fencing off of agricultural fields near Or Yehuda and Yehud in recent weeks. The only “spotting” location that remains is a on a bridge near the airport. Pavel Sovichensky, an aviation enthusiast told ynet, “I stood on the bridge, and then a police car showed up and told me that I could not stay due to instructions from airport security.”

“I asked to know why, and the officer told me that if I stayed, the airport security would call again. I come by bus from Bat Yam. It’s very upsetting,” he said.

A prime spotting location
A prime spotting location


“From a security standpoint, we try to keep away possible threats to the airport,” a member of the airport’s security staff said. “There is a wide range of threats, from a missile to a laser blinding the flight crew. Some of the European countries allow photographers to stand close to airport, but the reality here is different. This isn’t Scandinavia,” he concluded.

An avid spotter named Ziggy told ynet that, “It seems like they have declared war on the spotting hobby in Israel. It’s about time that they build organized stations for aviation enthusiasts. They can build a balcony within Terminal three, or a concrete ramp near the western operations area.”

“Of course they will need to maintain security inspections, in addition to bicycle and trolley access for the kids. The type of place that has a sign explaining about the airport and its history,” he said.

Ofer Leffler, a spokesperson for the authority, told ynet that the possibility of establishing a photographer’s station within the framework of a new visitor’s center was being examined. “The plan is currently in the staff work phase, and we are looking towards building a possible photographers balcony,” he said.

As reported by Ynetnews