DCA: Visit National Airport's Historic Terminal A, Just Don't Take Any Photos
As I mentioned yesterday, I was detained by police, which is a first for me as a journalist. (Remind me to have press credentials on my person at all times.) Now, what's your definition of detained? To me, being questioned and brought down to a secured keycode-only entry area in an airport terminal's basement and having your name entered into a database, that's detention, in some capacity of the word's definition.
My crime? I was taking photos of airplanes and "different areas of the airport." But if you go to my photos on Flickr, you'll see that I was only taking photos of the architectural detailing of National Airport's Historic Terminal A, which is a museum/connecting corridor between DCA's terminals A and B. After I was released from the terminal's basement, I went back into the museum area and sure enough, there was a person taking photos. The police officer had told me that people are allowed take photos in the other areas of the airport, but they aren't questioned because they are travelers/tourists. He said I didn't look like a tourist. Apparently visiting a museum is a suspicious activity, at least to him, because when I was telling him I was interested in Historic Terminal A, he didn't seem to understand why I would be interested in the unused terminal.
Well if Mr. Police Officer is reading, I hope this past post can explain.
If you do go, be sure to go to the Exhibit Hall, where you can see displays on the complete history of the airport and some interesting artifacts, like glass balustrades and other examples of streamlined Art Deco ornamentation.