What are the different ways I can volunteer?
You can either volunteer as a Chase Crew Member, or on an event logistics team as a "Navigator."
What is the difference between Chase Crew and Navigators?
Chase Crews assist pilots, crew chiefs and other crew to inflate, support and land balloons. They volunteer directly for balloon pilots and crew chiefs.
Navigators are our "regular" volunteers who help with event logistics. They serve on over 40 teams ranging from Information Booths and Courtesy Shuttles, to Sponsor and Media Hospitality, to flight operations such as Launch Directors and Scoring Team. Navigator teams are managed by an AIBF staff person. They may also be managed by a volunteer Team Leader/s.
Is there training required?
Chase Crew training comes primarily from pilot or crew chief. A training video may be required.
Navigators are required to take 5 basic training quizzes, which are accompanied by short videos. A passing grade of 80% or higher is required in order to receive credit for the quizzes.There may also be mandatory orientation or training meetings associated with particular teams.
Are there other requirements?
Chase Crew does not have any requirements other than to show up for the 1 of more sessions you may volunteer for. There is no minimum number of shifts you must volunteer.
Navigators must be available to work during the entire Balloon Fiesta, and are required to work a minimum of 4 shifts. Some teams may require more than 4 shifts. There may be other requirements for specific teams.
What benefits do I receive when I volunteer?
Chase Crew may receive parking and admission for the session/s you volunteer.
Navigators who meet the minimum training and shift requirements receive a Navigator pack, which includes:
Additional benefits may be available, such as a Balloon Fiesta jacket, discount accommodations, and discount RV parking, depending upon hours served, team assignment, and role.
What if I'm not available for the entire event, or for the required 4 shifts?
If you are unable to meet the requirements to be a Navigator, we invite you to register for Chase Crew.
Can I volunteer BOTH as a Navigator and on a Chase Crew?
Unfortunately, no. Chase Crew members help the pilots during the balloon events, which is when the rest of the event is operating. So their shifts are at the same time.
There is one exception to that. If you volunteer as a Navigator, you may ask your Team Leader to schedule one or two mornings off so you can crew, it is then possible to do both. However, because we depend on so many Navigators, we ask that you prioritize your shifts as a Navigator so that each team has sufficient coverage. Please show up for all of your scheduled shifts.
What are the physical requirements needed to volunteer?
Most of our volunteer positions have some physical demands. There are a few teams where the physical demands are high, such as our RV team, field crew, hospitality team, launch directors, and a few others. Those demands include physical labor such as walking or jogging long distances, lifting heavy items, etc.
Chase Crew and most other Navigator teams have moderate physical demands, such as standing for long periods of time. Additionally, Balloon Fiesta is spread over a very large field, over 54 football fields large, which does not include the parking lots. Getting to and from your assigned area requires that you are able to walk to your assigned area.
Even courtesy shuttle drivers must be able to exit the golf cart to assist passengers boarding the cart.
There are few, if any, volunteer positions that do not have some level of physical demand.
What hours would I be volunteering?
Below are the hours for the event sessions. Shift times vary from team to team. Shifts usually begin approximately 1 hour before the event session, and end slightly afterward. However, hours may vary depending upon the area in which you volunteer.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7||Day 8||Day 9|
|A.M. Session||5:30-11 a.m.||5:30-11 a.m.||5:30-11 a.m.||5:30-11 a.m.||5:30-11 a.m.||5:30-11 a.m.||5:30-11 a.m.||5:30-11 a.m.||5:30-11 a.m.|
|P.M. Session||3:30-9 p.m.||3:30-9 p.m.||3:30-9 p.m.||3:30-9 p.m.||3:30-9 p.m.|
Can my child volunteer with me?
In general, we do not allow volunteers under the age of 18. We may make exceptions, depending on the circumstances. If you are accompanied by someone under 18, or if you are under 18 and are interested in volunteering, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.
Does Balloon Fiesta provide accommodations for Navigators?
Balloon Fiesta is not in a position to pay for accommodations if you are traveling from outside the Albuquerque area. We may be able to offer discounted hotel rates or RV space, depending on various factors. For more information, contact our Volunteer Coordinator.
What is the process to register?
To sign up for Chase Crew, click here: Register for Chase Crew
To sign up as a Navigator:
How do I contact the Volunteer Coordinator?
Contact Sandra Wylie, Event Coordinator, at , or call (505) 821-1000, ext. 109.