Definitions: In this document, the term "crew" includes all paid or volunteer support staff, technicians, administrators, actors, directors and any other persons recruited or employed by the person, company or entity executing this agreement with NRAO. "Filming" and "photography" include all image-recording activities including still and motion-picture photography, videotaping and all digital and analog means of acquiring images and sound. "Observatory" and "NRAO" mean the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
Notice: At least two weeks' advance notice is required. A detailed program and schedule must be approved in advance. Advance permission is required of anyone doing commercial photography on the VLA site and for any photography done in areas not designated for the public walking tour.
Priorities: Scientific observing with the VLA has absolute priority over photography and filming. Antennas cannot be moved or directed to accommodate photography.
Radio Interference: Astronomical radio observations are extremely sensitive to manmade radio interference. The use of all electrical or electronic equipment at the VLA site must be cleared in advance. This includes, but is not limited to, two-way radios, wireless microphones, generators, cellular telephones, computers, microwave ovens, etc.
Hours: Normal access to the VLA site is available between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Advance permission is required for visits at all other times.
Access Fee: When commercial photography or filming is done outside normal working hours or from areas not designated for the public walking tour, a donation to NRAO's educational outreach program will be required. The amount of the donation will depend upon the impact the filming has on NRAO operations and will be based on such factors as the extent of access provided, the size of the film crew, the amount of support required by NRAO, etc. This donation must be paid in full prior to the start of filming or photography.
At the discretion of NRAO, a deposit may be required to reserve access for filming.
NRAO Staff Assistance: If the filming entails access to non-public areas or access outside normal working hours, a staff escort is required. The NRAO staff member will remain with the film crew at all times, and will not leave the filming location regardless of sound, lighting, or dramatic needs of the film crew. The NRAO staff member has absolute authority to regulate filming activities to ensure compliance with safety rules and to protect the facilities, equipment and operations of the observatory. There is a fee of $300 per day for the use of an NRAO employee for general escort service. This is in addition to the donation to NRAO educational programs mentioned above. This fee is a daily fee covering up to eight hours of time.
Cost Reimbursement: Any additional costs incurred by the observatory in support of the filming activity must be reimbursed by the film company. Such costs may include labor, materials, use of observatory equipment, vehicles, facilities, etc. Any support by NRAO personnel beyond the general escort service described above must be reimbursed. Such additional support must be agreed upon in advance by the film company and the observatory in writing. This cost reimbursement also is in addition to the donation to NRAO educational programs mentioned above. The film company must agree to pay these incurred costs upon presentation of an invoice by NRAO.
Conditions of Access: Access is non-exclusive to the film crew. NRAO staff will conduct normal activities during filming and will exercise any access required for maintenance or emergency purposes. The Visitor Center will remain open for its normal hours (8.30 a.m. until sunset) and public visitors will be permitted to use the VLA Walking Tour.
The film crew must obtain advance permission to move and park vehicles at the VLA site. Parking in fire lanes and over buried waveguide is not permitted.
Access for filming does not permit the filming crew to move observatory equipment or exhibits, or to modify any existing floor, walls, ceiling, equipment or landscaping, including drilling of holes for brackets or cable runs. Non-permanent changes such as moving portable equipment or exhibits may be done at the discretion of the observatory staff.
All observatory equipment is to be handled only by observatory staff or, at the discretion of the observatory, under direct supervision of observatory staff. Observatory staff will not handle, move or store crew equipment.
Access by the film crew to electrical outlets will be provided up to a safe amperage load, based on the capacity of observatory circuits. The film crew must not use observatory power without prior consultation and permission of the attending NRAO staff member. Excess power requirements must be provided by the crew through use of NRAO-approved generators at the expense of the crew. Generators powered by gasoline engines are not permitted. Diesel-powered generators may be used with prior NRAO approval.
Bathroom or warmroom facilities are available to crew members only during public hours in which they may enter as part of the public. Any additional access must be arranged in advance and will incur additional fees.
No overnight accommodations or meals are available at the VLA site. Food and beverages are not allowed in the Visitor Center or near observatory equipment. Such items are allowed outdoors and in indoor areas designated by the attending observatory staff member. Smoking is prohibited in all indoor areas on NRAO property. NRAO telephones may be used for non-emergency purposes only by prior arrangement with observatory staff.
Violation of rules of access or safety rules or other potentially disruptive or dangerous behavior by crew members will result in immediate cessation of access privileges by the attending observatory staff member. Fees will not be refunded or prorated in such instances.
Liability: The production company shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Associated Universities, Inc., National Science Foundation, the U.S. Government and all of their officials, officers, employees or agents (collectively the "indemnities") for any and all claims arising out of or incidental to their visit to the NRAO. The production company certifies they have maintained at their sole expense insurance governing this risk, including their liability to the above-named entities, and must provide a certificate of general and vehicle liability insurance covering the dates of all visits for photography, filming, scouting, preparation, etc. The insurance must have minimum limits of $1,000,000/$2,000,000 for bodily injury liability and $500,000 for property damage in the comprehensive policy form. The certificate shall name Associated Universities, Inc., and the U.S. Government as additional insured. Such certificate must be provided before gaining access to NRAO facilities. The production company shall be fully responsible for any damages to observatory facilities, grounds, exhibits or equipment caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of production company and its employees. All observatory property and facilities used in the production shall be restored by the production company to the same or better condition as when they were made available for the company's use. The film company will be held responsible for such restoration.
Safety: Film crews must obey all NRAO safety rules and regulations. A conference with the NRAO Safety Officer may be required prior to the start of filming. A copy of the NRAO-NM Safety Manual will be provided upon request. Where the film company's and NRAO's safety rules conflict, the more stringent rules will apply. The NRAO operates a Fire Brigade and an EMT squad, but these are available only during normal working hours. For emergency assistance at any time, dial 230 on any VLA telephone. Hardhat protection is required within 100 feet of an antenna and inside the Antenna Assembly Building. In other areas, additional protection, such as for eyes and ears, may be required. When driving in the vicinity of the VLA, be careful to avoid striking livestock.
The VLA is located at a high-altitude (7,000 feet) desert site, and visitors must be aware of and accept the risks of hazards including but not limited to thin air, cold, heat, wind, lightning and rattlesnakes.
Trespassing: The ranch land surrounding the VLA is all privately owned. When driving along the arms of the VLA, you must stay on designated access roads. If you must open a gate, close it behind you. To use private property for either ground or aerial photography or to gain access to such property, arrangements must be made directly with the individual landowner.
Additional Rules for Aerial Photography over VLA Site:
Landing Sites: Helicopters may land only in areas designated and marked by NRAO.
Rules and Regulations: The NRAO Safety Officer has determined that, in order to avoid presenting hazards to persons or property on the surface, no aircraft, including helicopters, may operate below 500 feet above ground level in airspace above NRAO property. No aircraft may approach closer than 500 feet to any VLA antenna. Aircraft must obey all FAA rules and regulations. Violations will be reported to the FAA.
Exception: A helicopter may land at a spot designated by NRAO for the purpose of picking up or dropping off passengers or crew. When approaching or departing from said spot or at any other time, the helicopter must not fly within 500 feet of any VLA antenna.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory reserves the right to cancel or reduce the period of access due to natural causes such as lightning, high winds, other adverse weather conditions, brush fires, etc. In case of cancellation by observatory staff, the access fee will be refunded. If, once setup or filming has begun, a session is reduced in length due to these or other natural or manmade conditions, fees will be returned on a prorated basis but the deposit, if any, will be retained by the observatory. The observatory shall not be liable for any other costs incurred by the crew, production company, or associated sponsors associated with unavoidable conditions. In any case, the film company shall reimburse the observatory for actual costs incurred in connection with production company's use of the premises for the purposes herein permitted.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory reserves the right to grant limited access, waive fees or modify the above conditions in individual cases when deemed in the best interests of the observatory.
The signature of the photographer(s) or a representative of the company doing the filming constitutes acceptance by that company and all its officers, employees and agents of all the above conditions and also constitutes an agreement to abide by the provisions of this document.
Signature Date Title Company Accepted By: Date AUI/NRAO Authorized Signature