Miami Airport Trains Volunteer Crime Watchers

Miami VolunteersOn April 30, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) announced a partnership with the newly formed Miami Airport Watch, a South Florida photography group that will monitor Miami International Airport’s (MIA’s) perimeter for eye-catching commercial aircraft – and suspicious activity in the process.

After a press conference about the new partnership, Miami Airport Watch members underwent MIA’s two-hour Behaviour Detection training class, led by the Miami-Dade Police Department, to learn how to detect and report suspicious behaviour at the airport. In addition to being the only US airport that requires all new employees receive the training before receiving their employee ID, MIA is now the first US airport to provide the training to plane-spotters as well.  The aviation enthusiasts will also be able to report aircraft mechanical issues such as blown tyres that their lenses are perfectly suited to capture during takeoffs and landings.  

By day, the group’s 19 members are working professionals: engineer; attorney; travel agent; physician; pilot; software developer.  Outside of work hours, they pursue their passion for aviation photography and now serve as a volunteer crime watch on the fence line of MIA.

“Passenger safety is our top priority at MIA, so we welcome the members of Miami Airport Watch as another layer of security for us,” said MDAD Director Emilio T González. “Their eyes, their lenses and their airfield awareness are a big asset to us.”

“Our members are thrilled by this partnership,” said biomedical engineer and Miami Airport Watch member Suresh Atapattu.  “This is a great way for us to leverage our shared passion for photographing airplanes and contribute to the overall safety and security of MIA.”

To learn more about Miami Airport Watch, contact miamiairportwatch@gmail.com.