Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Can I Take Photos at the Checkpoint and Airport?

Unfortunately, there isn't a cookie cutter answer that can be applied to all of our screening locations and airports. It’s important to note that we know there’s a difference between someone taking a casual photo and someone doing surveillance, but if you are taking pictures at or near the checkpoint, don’t be surprised if someone (TSA, airport police, or a curious passenger) asks you what you’re up to.

We don’t prohibit public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping, or filming at screening locations. You can take pictures at our checkpoints as long as you’re not interfering with the screening process or slowing things down. We also ask that you do not film or take pictures of our monitors.

However… while the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might. Your best bet is to call ahead and see what that specific airport’s policy is.

I suggest you contact the TSA Contact Center.  They will have an answer for you and if they don’t, they can connect you with somebody who does. Of course, if you’re a member of the press, you should contact the TSA Office of Public Affairs.\

I’ve taken photographs in checkpoints, terminals, and on planes and I have never had an issue. I know some of you have and hopefully this information helps you a little. 

Bob Burns 
TSA Blog Team 

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