AURA has a continuous mail service for the AURA employees serving at the Chilean observatories (CTIO, Gemini, SOAR, and other tenant facilities). The mail shipments are handled by AURA Shipping and Receiving. Mail for Chilean staff is sorted for trans-shipment to Chile; held pending the arrival of a Chilean visitor or forwarded to former employees.
All mail placed in the "CHILE" mail slots in the main building will be collected on a daily basis and forwarded to Chile or held pending the arrival in Tucson of the Chile-based employee if that is their request. Mail to Chile is shipped weekly by Federal Express.
Except for holidays, mailbag shipments depart Tucson every Wednesday at 12:00 pm and, unless slowed by holidays in the U.S. or Chile, arrive in La Serena the following week. These mailbag shipments are for priority mailings and inter-office envelopes. Bulk subscriptions and other non-first class mailings are forwarded to Chile in weekly freight shipments.
Mail is sent from Chile to Tucson in a weekly mailbag shipment. Generally, the mailbag departs Chile on Thursday and arrives in Tucson the following Tuesday. The contents of the mailbag are received by Logistics personnel and distributed upon arrival.
There is no additional cost for the mail service between Tucson and Chile. If the mail is to be forwarded to the local post office the only stamp required is that required to send the mail from Tucson to the addressee. Employees sending inter-office mail to other employees need not affix postage.
Special requests to hold mail on a temporary basis can be arranged. If not requested, all mail is forwarded to Chile as usual. Unless requested by the visitor, freight-mail is not held in Tucson.
Mail designated for holding will be kept in logistics.
Contents of the mailbag and freight mail shipments can ONLY consist of printed materials. Personal music CDs and movie DVD's are not allowed. Items addressed to employees in Chile that do not meet the "printed materials" classification must be sent as non-official freight/personal goods shipment and cannot be sent with official items. The Logistics Supervisor is authorized to open all mail destined for Chile to verify that the contents comply with the regulations. For further clarification regarding the mail-pouch contact a member of the logistics team. TucsonSR@aura-astronomy.org
The mailbag cannot be used for urgent shipments of non-qualified materials including urgently needed medication. Such items must be sent as personal goods via an express freight service such as Federal Express.
All book orders are sent in the weekly freight shipment and not in the mailbag.
Mailbags leave from AURA Shipping & Receiving every Wednesday at 2:00 pm. Travel times to Santiago are normally 2-3 working days. Mailbags are cleared through Chilean Customs and immediately forwarded to La Serena for distribution. Mailbag contents are generally distributed as soon as they arrive in La Serena. From the time the bag is sent, it normally takes 5 -7 working days for the mail to reach the Chilean employee.
The weekly mail shipment will not be sent on Holidays and may be subject to delays on weeks that do contain holidays.