MOJAVE — Officials at the Mo­ja­ve Air and Space Port are de­bat­ing a proposed policy that would gov­ern the ability of people to take pho­tographs or film at the public facility.

The policy was brought up dur­ing the governing board meeting Tues­day as part of an update to the administrative code regarding air­port use.

It states that the airport district “strictly prohibits unauthorized film­ing and photography on airport prop­erty,” and that such activity is only allowed with a license or special permit.

“It sounds like nobody’s ever going to be able to use a camera le­gal­ly on this airport,” Director Bill Deaver said, asking that it be clar­ified to qualify the restriction to photography or filming for com­mer­cial use.

Home to a number of innovative aerospace firms, some with sensitive projects, airport officials frequently face concerns from tenants re­gard­ing public photography of their prod­ucts on the flightline, General Man­ager and CEO Karina Drees said.

During the work week, visitors will leave the public Voyager res­taurant by the exit to the flightline, then take photos of objects of their interest down the flightline from the restaurant. Airport security is tasked to handle the issue and ask them not to take pictures.

“That’s what we’re trying to avoid,” she said, adding the policy was intended to back up the tenants’ request for help.

The issue is separate from public events such as the monthly Plane Crazy Saturday, which is intended to allow visitors to see and photograph air­craft displayed on the flightline, she said.

Airport counsel Scott Nave said the policy “to a large degree” refers to commercial use. However, the ramp area is property under the air­port’s control, and therefore air­port officials are able to set policy re­garding actions while on it. They can not, however, prohibit photography from off the airport property, taking pictures “through the fence.”

Board members disputed the ex­tent of this authority, as the air­port is a public-use airport, “the tax­payers’ property,” as Director David Evans put it.

“What about taking a picture through the window of the Voy­ager? We’re running into a common sense problem here,” Deaver said.

Board President Andrew Parker asked about enforcing the policy. “Are we supposed to confiscate cameras?” he said.

Scaled Composites President Ben Diachun, representing one of the companies that has long har­bored sensitive projects at the air­port, said his firm understands peop­le will be outside and see any­thing they roll out of their hangars.

Their concern, however, is pri­mar­ily for the safety of those who stray from the back door of the Voy­ager and venture down the flight­line to get a closer look, and they appreciate the airport’s help to enforce that separation.

The board agreed to consider a revised version of the policy at its next meeting.

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