Save IAH Spotting Areas sign now

This petition urges the Houston Airport System and the City of
Houston to reopen the public aircraft observation area on Lee Road
and forego plans to close a similar area on Rankin Road at
Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The Lee Road
viewing area was closed on January 3, 2003, and the Rankin Road area
is to be closed in the near future as an overreaction to the failed
shoulder-mounted missile attack on an Israeli airliner in Kenya.
These fears were exaggerated by a recent news report on KTRK 13 in
Houston showing the proximity of the viewing areas to the airport.
In reality these areas do more to prevent such an attack, while also
providing a place for families and aviation enthusiasts to enjoy the
great views offered by our airport.

Our reasons for reopening the public observation areas:

1. Terrorists using this type of heat-seeking missile can do so
within several miles of an airport. They would most likely choose an
isolated area, rather than a public area full of aircraft spotters,
photographers, and families simply enjoying a fascination with
aircraft. The areas in question constantly have people coming and
going, and any suspicious activity would be noticed and reported.
In closing these areas, you are eliminating the largest and most
effective watchdog. Additionally, these areas are patrolled by
various law enforcement officers on a regular basis. If that
isn't enough, the Rankin Road area is situated no more than half
a mile from a Houston Police Department training facility. There
are numerous other facilities surrounding the airport, such as
parking lots, that haven't been closed in the interest of security
even though they provide a far more private and effective area for
such acts to take place.

2. The viewing areas are on land owned by the public. The airport
itself is public property, funded through federal and state grants,
as well as user fees levied on the airlines. We, as taxpayers and
travelers, pay for it in one way or another. The airport itself is
run by a group of public servants who therefore have an obligation
to act in the interests of Houstonians. Rather than have policy
shaped by erroneous media reports, we look to show that there is
strong public support against the new measures. We certainly
advocate anti-terrorism measures, but only so long as the
consequences of those measures are outweighed by the benefits.

3. The public's fascination with aviation has existed since the
Wright Brothers. Watching and photographing aircraft is one of our
liberties that should not be taken away by public servants for
unjustifiable reasons. The use of the term "security" is wearing
thin, as our liberties are being taken away one by one. We cannot
continue to tolerate such changes, even if they are as minor as
closing two airport observation areas. Every time these new changes
are enacted, terrorists have succeeded in perpetuating their
underlying mission in instilling fear, a fear that will, in all
likelihood, never be realized.

4. There are hundreds of aviation enthusiasts from all over the
world who travel through Houston and take advantage of these
observation areas. In fact, some travel to Houston for the sole
purpose of aircraft spotting and photography. These people spend
thousands of dollars on airfares, hotels, rental cars, meals, camera
equipment, film, etc. As evidence of this, Houston hosted the
Airliners International 2002 show from June 20-22, 2002, which
brought together hundreds of aviation enthusiasts. Events such as
this inject money into our economy and promote the exchange of
information between citizens of Houston and the rest of the world.
One would think these guests would be more than welcome here, but
thanks to the closure of the public viewing areas, a good portion of
them will look elsewhere for aviation photography. Not only is this
a bad economic decision, but it tarnishes the image of an otherwise
prosperous and wonderful city.

In conclusion we urge the Houston Airport System and the City of
Houston to reopen the public observation area at Lee Road and forego
plans to close the Rankin Road observation area.

Sincerely,

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Goal
550 / 1000

Latest Signatures

  • 19 December 2015550. Rafal S
    I support this petition
  • 07 December 2015549. Eric B
    I support this petition
  • 20 November 2015548. Richard M
    I support this petition
  • 07 November 2015547. Matthew S
    Please save IAH! Address 8 Devon Lane Westbury NY, 11590
  • 02 November 2015546. Elizabeth S
    I support this petition
  • 29 October 2015545. Bruce C
    My friends in Houston asked me to sign. I agree! Address Groot Hertoginnelaan 214, 2517EX The Hague NL
  • 27 October 2015544. Cushrow P
    I support this petition
  • 17 October 2015543. Thomas Ar
    I support this petition
  • 14 October 2015542. Brian H
    I support this petition
  • 14 October 2015541. Malvern Kellyi
    There is no real reason to close the spot Address 28906 Sedgefield St. Spring TX 77386
  • 11 October 2015540. Maren Mcclain
    I support this petition
  • 06 October 2015539. Alexander K
    I support this petition
  • 05 October 2015538. Marc B
    Please keep it open! Address Houston, TX
  • 23 September 2015537. Ad V
    Spotters are not terrorists, but aviation-friendly people. Their knowledge of airport happenings can be a bonus to security. Address 5275 AG-25 The Netherlands http://members.lycos.nl/aviator/aviation
  • 25 August 2015536. Joyce Buck
    I don't think that veiwing areas should be taken away. The recreation of flying and observing flying needs to be kept! Address 7718 maple st, new orleans, la, 70118
  • 24 August 2015535. Jonathan T
    I support this petition
  • 19 August 2015534. Thomas M
    As mentioned in this petition, we as regular visitors are truly your first line of defense against any potential terrorist action against an airliner. Please do not give into irrational paranoia and ad hoc reporting by the local media. Address Humble, Tx
  • 15 August 2015533. William Cd
    I am a former Houstonian Address 9204 Burnetta Dr., Annandale, VA 22003
  • 05 August 2015532. Kevin M
    I support this petition
  • 30 July 2015531. Jason W
    I support this petition
  • 18 July 2015530. William B
    I support this petition
  • 15 July 2015529. Jose V
    I support this petition
  • 08 July 2015528. Rob C
    I support this petition
  • 04 June 2015527. Mr Shaund
    WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM AT LHR Address FLAT 2 342 BARLOW MOOR ROAD CHORLTON MANCHESTER M21 8AY UK
  • 18 May 2015526. Ralph G
    I had always admired the Houston Airport System for welcoming spotters and appreciating the hobby. I am saddened that in the 100th year of mankind's fascination with powered flight, our nation is now turning a suspicious eye to those who pursue with passi
  • 17 May 2015525. Mark B
    I support this petition
  • 16 May 2015524. Rebecca M
    I support this petition

browse all the signatures

Justin FitzgeraldBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
Mayor of Houston Lee Brown, Houston City Council, IAH Airport Manager Tom Bartlett, and the Houston Airport System

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