Albuquerque, NM Hot Air Balloon Industry | Update


Mar 3, 2022

Movement forward regarding the future of Hot Air Ballooning in Albuquerque has been slow to come about. Vague statements have been made by the government entities who rule the skies for the sole purpose of clouding our judgement, making us think action is being taken. It isn’t. Year-round ballooning is still in danger of becoming a-thing-of-the-past in the city that’s famous for it.

With the help of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer, the industry is pushing forward. They have stepped up for balloonists and released a very public joint statement of support directed to the FAA – We implore the Federal Aviation Administration to grant an ongoing exemption to ballooning pilots operating in Albuquerque’s Class-C airspace so those pilots can resume flights for visitors and residents alike and retain New Mexico’s profile as the Ballooning Capital of the World. Due to the FAA not approving technology for ballooning, it is impossible for ballooning pilots to comply with the FAA’s ADS-B transmitter installation requirements for Class-C airspace. Furthermore, the regulation is being inconsistently enforced, as demonstrated by the fact that the Albuquerque Air Traffic Control is the only one in the United States enforcing this regulation on air balloon pilots. This decision poses significant unintended safety and economic ramifications.

There are few other precious assets that define New Mexico as the premier destination for the venturesome traveler as much as our rightful reputation as the Ballooning Capital of the World. For 50 years, balloonists have safely operated in Albuquerque’s airspace throughout the year by adhering to Visual Flight Rules. Balloonists in Albuquerque cannot hope to continue providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences to residents and visitors alike without an ongoing exemption to this FAA regulation.

Even In light of this step forward, the ballooning industry still needs help, we need you to take action. Please add your name to the petition linked below, this is how your voice can too be heard.

Rainbow Ryders and the entire Hot Air Balloon Community thanks you for your support!