Well I have alot to add to this as I am a member of a airport watch group up here in Canada. So before I go on explaining what goes on, please feel free to PM or ask questions here if you want further explanation on what I am about to share.
So Airport Watch is what is knowing in Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and a others. It originated in Toronto and has spread over the country. Our Calgary group began 4 years ago. Its not easy. It takes many hours of dedication for the chair and co chair of the group. I do carry a official airport watch badge which is obtained from the pass office in the airport authority offices. It does require a federal background check which leads to all who are also involved. We have a member of the airport security office, a representative from the airport police precent, and a representative from the federal branch of the RCMP. He is the overseer of all the watch groups and has been the lead in getting background checks completed. Since we have been going for a while, I also have a airport watch jacket, a log to track my hours of spotting. That way we give our hours into the board at the end of the month and shows the RCMP that the program is working. I still do get stopped by perimeter airport security when I have my ladder close to the fence but just move it back a couple meters and they are happy with that. They know who we are at the airport. Unfornately because of the expanding projects taking place, alot of our great photo spots are being destroyed by developement. Oh well. I enjoy being part of it, its nice to have a community of people who have like hobbies and its great when a group of us are out at the airport and have time to catch up on our lives outside of photography. I hope that gives some insite into the program we have north of the border and could be a encouragement for you guys in NYC to try and look to start something. I must add, the main reason we track hours is because we are considered a second set of eyes and ears for airport security outside the perimeter as we know all the spots that people could possibly hide and commit crimes like drugs and such. Anyways, my two cents into a subject that I have a good idea of.
Matt, I've discussed your program with members of it and it's already been explored here, and is not applicable at this time for unfortunate reasons previously mentioned. We are working on a few things to allow it to be applied here in the future. Glad you guys up north were able to set up such a great program.