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Police guarding airport owners’ profits?

By Sideshowmatt123 - 31 January 2011 24

I noticed at the airport recently that two bicycle-mounted Australian Federal Police officers are stationed for long periods of time on the footpath, some distance along from the arrivals exit. They appear to be occupied in preventing cars from pulling in to pick up arriving passengers.

My question is whether it is appropriate for taxpayer-funded police officers (any estimates of the per diem cost of this dubious public service, including on-costs?) to be deployed in this fashion, forcing people to pay to park?

It seems like overkill, and a function that, insofar as it is necessary*, should be paid for by the airport owners, who collect the resulting carpark revenue. Surely a pair of private security guards would be sufficient to keep the traffic moving?

* a friend recounted that he drove to the footpath to collect his partner, who was dying of cancer and hardly able to breathe standing up. Despite my friend explaining his partner’s condition, the officer on duty moved him on with the threat of a fine.

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Police guarding airport owners’ profits?
amarooresident3 5:07 pm 31 Jan 11

georgesgenitals said :

I suspect they use real cops rather than security guards because of the number of people who when told to move would simply say “jam it”.

Large number of politicians, judges and other notables who use the airport might also have something to do with it.

luther_bendross 4:56 pm 31 Jan 11

I agree with OP, this seems a waste of AFP resources when road laws go blatantly disregarded all over town. However the issue that pisses me off there is the lack of a pick-up zone provided by the airport. For the benefit of others, here’s a few ideas I’ve used:

1. Around Brindabella Park there’s a few 1P areas.
2. Pick-up your mates in the departure loop up top

Until yesterday I was content to just drive through the “Authorised Vehicles Only” area, but now there’s a orange traffic stick thingy there.

Anyone else got any nice parking spots?

Muttsybignuts 4:24 pm 31 Jan 11

karmacarrier said :

I think that the underlying reason is one of security.
But it’s curious that they only seem to be there during daylight hours Monday to Friday.
Maybe terrorists don’t get overtime penalty rates.

No, they are there while ever planes are flying in and out. Just like they are at Parliament house, the Lodge, Foreign Affairs and any other place deemed protection worthy.

karmacarrier 3:36 pm 31 Jan 11

I think that the underlying reason is one of security.
But it’s curious that they only seem to be there during daylight hours Monday to Friday.
Maybe terrorists don’t get overtime penalty rates.

georgesgenitals 3:23 pm 31 Jan 11

I suspect they use real cops rather than security guards because of the number of people who when told to move would simply say “jam it”.

Captain RAAF 3:08 pm 31 Jan 11

Can you be fined if your car breaks down in what was once the drop-off area? Park car, turn off engine, get out, lift bonnet, scratch side of head, shake fist at engine, all the while passenger is getting out of car and grabbing luggage from the boot, give the wife a kiss as she heads off. Easy.

Once the plods have informed you that they will organise a tow truck to get rid of your car you “give it one more go ay’ and Brrrm, she starts and you depart, grinning like an idiot.

m_ratt 1:18 pm 31 Jan 11

The multistory carpark provides enough time for one to drive in, go upstairs and drive over to the lift lobby, pick up a waiting recent arrival and immediately exit without cost.

In effect, the multistory carpark is the pickup area and is free of charge. Expect to pay if you intend to arrive before you need to, in which case you shouldn’t have attempted to use kerbside pickup anyway.

Sgt.Bungers 12:22 pm 31 Jan 11

It is interesting to note that in this “post 9/11 world” I have not come across any other country that restricts picking up passengers in private vehicles from the airport, despite extensive travel in 2004, 2008 and 2009. Including New Yorks JFK, and LA’s LAX… sure at these particular airports, no parking restrictions apply and are heavily enforced by police, however picking up and dropping off is not a problem, provided a motor car does not sit in a no parking zone for too long.

Canberra’s no pick up restriction is a nuicance and a joke. Given this “requirement”, airport parking should be free for the first half hour.

Erg0 11:43 am 31 Jan 11

I’d have thought that the AFP would be charging the airport for its officers’ time. Anyone know how that works?

Chop71 11:17 am 31 Jan 11

niftydog said :

I had no issues picking up Mrs Nifty who was on crutches after explaining the situation to the nearby AFP officers.

Is she a bitch?

Savagestar 11:09 am 31 Jan 11

I would also like to point out that these people picking up are stopping in the lane of traffic on a roundabout and also on a one lane traffic area. Now it doesn’t take a half a brain to work out that you may actually be blocking traffic!, but then again obviously you dont care as long as you are able to pick up and do what you want!.

niftydog 10:50 am 31 Jan 11

I had no issues picking up Mrs Nifty who was on crutches after explaining the situation to the nearby AFP officers.

M0les 10:27 am 31 Jan 11

I’ve got no problems with police officers doing their job.

However the job set for them is simply wrong. Moving pick-up cars on has no impact on “security” (quoted as it’s the undetailed reason given for the “no-pickup” rule). About the only possible positive I can see of it is that it’s an overt reaction addressing “dangerism” and thus providing a psychological comfort to John Q. Citizen.

Yes, the airport should provide a pick-up area or at least a free, distant carpark if only so they can be seen to not be fleecing travelers for all they’re worth. In one of those bizarre economic oddities, I believe having an inconvenient, free airport carpark would make people happier about paying for the convenient one.

p1 10:00 am 31 Jan 11

Ahhh, it’s for security? I hope no one ever comes up with the idea of just blowing up themselves and the car while driving past….

buzz819 9:44 am 31 Jan 11

While I understand your dismay in this matter, there are things you need to take into account. Are private security actually allowed to manage traffic flow? Ie. Under the Roads and Traffic Act are they able to “legally” give directions that will change the flow of traffic?

The other fact, being the important one, the reason why these officers move people on is more for the safety of the airport itself. They can not allow any cars to move into and park in these areas, because then they will have to allow ALL cars into the area.

It is a post 9/11 world, that you will just have to deal with, these officers have been mandated to provide an area of security around the airport. This means, but is not limited to, no unauthorised vehicles being parked too close to the terminals, as it could be a terrorist threat. You may not agree with it, but that is the reason behind it.

If you were to park anywhere else, Hertz, or somewhere not close to the terminal, that didn’t look suspicious (Good Luck), you will find it has nothing to do with these officers making you pay for parking. Just the security of the Airport.

Instead of getting your knickers in a twist over the AFP members, how about you get your knickers in a twist with Mr Snow over not providing a pick up and set down point? He is the one getting the money from parking. It’s just the same as you having a go at the bank teller because your Mortgage rate has just risen.

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