Sunday 16 March 2003

Trust the people

Scotland on Sunday carries a story (no link) about a proposed hotel at the RAF base at Leuchars in Fife. Squadron Leader Paul Marshall, business manager at Leuchars, said of potential hotel guests: "They will see nothing more overt than planes taking off, as anything that is sensitive is kept from public view."

The article points out that the hotel would be attractive to plane spotters. I noted the following item on a news group that was discussing the RAF base at Fairford, currently being used by US Air Force B52 bombers:

Would this be the same Fairford where an alliance has been formed between local spotters and the Police? The Police are distributing cards to local spotters with relevant telephone numbers should they see anything untoward. The same thing is happening at Stansted. Airport Police have agreed that the overwhelming majority of spotters are a knowledgable asset to the local force. We go to an airport/field and 9 times out of 10, what are we looking for? - things out of the ordinary!
This is excellent news. I spent my teenage years watching planes at Prestwick airport. Plane spotters are by far the most likely group to "spot" anything untoward at an airport and to help the authorities do their job.