Commercial Photography Policy

Still & Video (Updated 6-2-2022)

Download copy of permission application


To publish procedures for reviewing production requests, to define terms and conditions under which approval can be granted, and to specify operational criteria that must be met.


This Policy applies to all commercial filming and photography (“filming”) at Chicago Executive Airport (“Airport”), other than short-term filming by news media, such as, but not limited to, the following: • Feature films • Television series • General entertainment programs • Commercials • Documentaries • Corporate and student presentations • Educational films • Professional photography

News media filming is governed by Chicago Executive Airport.


To provide access to property and facilities operated by Chicago Executive Airport for the purpose of on-location filming and photography without causing disruption or inconvenience to airport Fixed Based Operators (“FBOs”), and other tenants. The hangars at Chicago Executive Airport are private buildings operated by tenants of Chicago Executive Airport and are non-public for purposes of access and free speech activities. Our primary responsibility and highest priority is safe, secure and orderly airport operations. Chicago Executive Airport reserves the right to deny filming requests for safety, security or operational reasons. Additionally, whenever the federal government declares any alert level higher than “Elevated” on the Homeland Security Advisory System issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security, with regard to security conditions for operations, the Chicago Executive Airport may suspend or prohibit commercial filming. Suspension and prohibition will be based on the totality of the security situation, including the availability of security resources at the Airports in light of increased demands and requirements by the federal government. Pursuant to applicable laws and regulations, only persons holding valid ID visitors’ badges, or persons escorted by properly badged personnel are allowed on airport property. Law enforcement and Chicago Executive Airport personnel have the authority to stop any unapproved filming or photography at any time .

  1. To ensure the the day-to-day operations of all tenants at Chicago Executive Airport are not affected or disrupted by on-location filming and/or photography.
  1. To ensure the safety and security of all Airport users.
  1. To provide the film industry with centralized and efficient procedures for obtaining Chicago Executive Airport approval for filming at the Airport.
  1. To provide Chicago Executive Airport with appropriate liability insurance from the filming company.
  1. To prevent any filming related damage to Airport property and, in the event of any damage, to ensure that the production company will be responsible for all repairs required.
  1. To reserve Chicago Executive Airport's right to approve or deny any filming request involving property or facilities operated by Chicago Executive Airport for safety, security, or operational reasons.
  1. To recover all direct costs for services rendered by Chicago Executive Airport as a result of filming on Airport property.
General requirements for filming in and around the airport:
  • Always have official photo identification available.
  • Do not block fire escape routes and/or fire emergency exits.
  • Do not block any entrance/exit to airport hangar buildings or Fire/EMS staging areas.
  • Do not interfere with FBO or airport operations.
Filming Locations:

Airport Traffic Control Tower and Other Federally Controlled Areas: the air traffic control tower is controlled and operated by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”). For filming access to the air traffic control tower or any other federally controlled areas, you must contact and obtain approval from the FAA or other responsible federal agency, along with Chicago Executive Airport..

Leased Areas: The areas that are leased to the FBOs and other tenants, such as private hangars, offices, and other facilities, are under the control of those parties, and filming access to those areas also must be approved by the appropriate FBO or tenant, in addition to Chicago Executive Airport.

Request for Filming/Photography Procedures:
  1. Applications

All inquiries and requests for filming at Chicago Executive Airport made to:

Chicago Executive Airport
ATTN: George Sakas or Jennifer Pfeifer
1020 South Plant Road
Wheeling, IL 60090

Phone 847-537-2580 or via e-mail at [email protected]

  1. Letter of Request

All requests must be submitted in writing to Chicago Executive Airport in advance of the commencement of filming. A minimum of two (2) weeks’ notice is required. Arrangements can be made with Chicago Executive Airport for a site tour. For larger or more complicated projects, additional advance notice will be required. To assist Chicago Executive Airport in assessing the magnitude of the request and the need for any additional information regarding the request, a Letter of Intent must be completed and must contain at least the following information:

  • Type of filming involved, e.g., feature films, commercials, documentaries, etc.
  • Production dates (specify prep, strike and filming)
  • List of scene locations to be filmed on the airport.
  • Number of cast and crew/personnel
  • Alteration requests, e.g., sign removal, sound system, etc.
  • Arrival and departure hours
  • Number and type of production vehicles
  • Lighting requests
  • Identification and use of props, e.g., picture vehicles, etc.
  • Items of equipment to be used, e.g., cranes, lifts, etc.
  • Special effects requests
  • Identification and use of animals
  • Stunt requests

All filming inquiries and requests will be reviewed by Chicago Executive Airport (and other Airport tenants, as needed such as FBOs) to determine which specific requests will be approved and authorized. Chicago Executive Airport works in collaboration with the Village of Wheeling and Prospect Heights on all projects filmed at Chicago Executive Airport .

  1. Insurance

: Chicago Executive Airport will require proof of insurance before any filming can take place on Airport property. The required insurance coverage and minimum limits are: Commercial General Liability - bodily injury/property damage (airport premises) - $2,000,000. Higher limits may apply for certain filming locations, e.g., the airfield, and automotive insurance may be required if any vehicles are used. Completed policies should be faxed to the Chicago Executive Airport at 847-537-2580 ATTN George Sakas or Jennifer Pfeifer. Liability insurance must name Chicago Executive Airport as an additional insured in the applicant’s liability policy. The certificate of insurance must be on file Chicago Executive Airport before any filming can take place on Airport property. The insurance certificate should be mailed or faxed to the above contacts

  1. Fees

Filming/photography on airport property, which require the use of an airport escort (inside the fence), will be assessed fees associated with airport personnel and time dedicated to the project. Arrangements for Airport personnel services such as Airport Operations personnel and Maintenance Technicians must be made in advance of filming. Shuttle service from remote parking locations will be the responsibility of the film company. Additional charges to the Applicant may apply for the use of any FBO and tenant facilities and services. Fee structure: $250/day weekday, normal office hours (M-F, 8:00am – 4:30pm) $500/day weekend Or $50/hour weekday, normal office hours (M-F, 8:00am – 4:30pm) $100/hour weekend

  1. Special Effects

Filming of certain types of scenes, including breaches of security, aircraft crashes, use of firearms or replicas of firearms, explosions, smoke machine, car crashes, etc., is strictly prohibited.

  1. Smoking Restrictions

Smoking is not permitted inside the Airport or within 15 feet of public entrances pursuant to State regulations or City of Prospect Heights and Village of Wheeling ordinances.

  1. Garbage and Waste Disposal

The film company is responsible for the proper disposal of all garbage and refuse resulting from film activities.

  1. Electrical Power

The power supply at the Airport is used to capacity and no surplus power for filming is available. Use of wall outlets for low demand lighting may be allowed upon request to Chicago Executive Airport. Film companies must supply a power generator as required. All cords and wiring on the floor must be taped or guarded.

  1. Traffic Management

To prevent traffic congestion, complete closure of roads at the airport is not permitted.

  1. Animals

No animals are permitted on airport property without prior consent from Chicago Executive Airport. If consent is granted, animals must be controlled by qualified personnel. No animals may be harmed during any film activities.

  1. Emergencies

All emergencies must be reported immediately by first dialing 911, and then reported to the Airport Executive Director.

  1. Tenant Arrangements

The film company must provide a detailed description in the Letter of Request of any arrangements made with an FBO or other tenant for the use of their premises, equipment or personnel. The film company must obtain the written consent of any FBO or other tenant for the use of their exclusive leased space.

  1. Film Location Monitoring

Chicago Executive Airport retains the right to halt any activity that is deemed to adversely impact the safety and security of Airport operations, personnel and/or property. Activities not specially disclosed in the Letter of Intent will not be allowed without prior consent from Chicago Executive Airport.

  1. Prohibition of Filming Trade Marks and Corporate Logos

Use of any photograph, film or other visual image depicting a sign, logo or scene identifiable with Chicago Executive Airport is strictly prohibited without prior written consent from Chicago Executive Airport. The film company must obtain the written consent of any third party to use any photograph, film or other visual image depicting a trade mark, trade brand name, brand name, logo, certification mark, distinguishing guise, trade dress, corporate name, business name or other similar indicia or marking of a third party.

Download copy of permission application