America's Challenge Updates
Public Safety Measures Announced for 2019 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
September 22, 2019
Officials share details of approach that includes metal detectors, expanded bag checks and law enforcement partnerships for October 5-13 event
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group (505) 898-8689 x201
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Event organizers for the 48th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (AIBF) presented by Canon made announcements today related to public safety measures that will be implemented for the 2019 event. Specifically, the event will be adding metal detectors, increasing bag check stations and increasing involvement from local state and federal law enforcement agencies to provide an environment where guests can enjoy the event with greater peace of mind.
“Balloon Fiesta’s Public Safety Team was established in 1991 and included local and state law enforcement and first responders, with federal entities joining in 2001,” says Balloon Fiesta Director of Public Safety Allen Tetreault. “For 2019, the event will have AIBF Public Safety Officers, plus an undisclosed number of law enforcement officers consisting of uniformed officers, tactical teams and plain clothed officers working to make this the safest place to be in New Mexico. Many of our public safety and law enforcement teams will be visible throughout Balloon Fiesta Park, including our security checkpoints at all public entrances to our event.”
Best Practices for Guests
There will be bag checks; the fewer items guests have, the faster they will get through the security line. Guests without bags to check will be able to get through the security process faster than guests with bags, chairs and coolers. In addition, Balloon Fiesta officials would like to provide this information and best practices for guests:
- Conceal Carry, weapons and knives are not allowed during the event.
- Metal detectors will be used at our public entrances. Each entrance will have six or more security lanes with marked “Bag Check” lanes and “Express” lanes (without bags or with only small, clear, plastic bags).
- All bags and coolers will be checked by Balloon Fiesta Public Safety Officers before being allowed onto Balloon Fiesta Park.
- Limit the number of items you bring to Balloon Fiesta Park.
- When possible, bring personal items in a clear or see-through bag or container. Use of a small, clear, plastic bag will allow you to utilize the Express Lanes into the Park.
- Children and their caregivers are often distracted with the balloon-filled sky. Visit the New Mexico State Police’s Tag-Your-Tots, station south of the Main Street Stage, when you arrive. Have a plan in place if you become separated.
- If you see something that looks unsafe or suspicious, alert a law enforcement officer, AIBF public safety officer, launch director (Zebra) or Balloon Fiesta official.
- Bicycles, spike jewelry/wallet chains, alcohol/drugs, animals (except service animals) and items deemed by Balloon Fiesta Public Safety as potentially dangerous to other guests or the venue will NOT be allowed inside the venue.
Balloon Fiesta Law Enforcement Presence
The Balloon Fiesta Public Safety Team coordinates a multiagency presence at Balloon Fiesta Park that includes more than 20 federal, state and local law enforcement, first responder and government entities to ensure that the annual event is a safe place for its pilots, guests, volunteers and employees. Those organizations include:
|Albuquerque Police Department||Federal Bureau of Investigation|
|Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office||National Guard 64 CST-WMD|
|New Mexico State Police||Bernalillo Polic Department|
|Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety||NM Dept. of Homeland Security/Emergency Mgmt|
|Sandia Pueblo Police Department||Bernalillo County Fire Department|
|New Mexico Dept. of Public Safety||New Mexico Mounted Search and Rescue|
|United States Dept. of Homeland Security|
|Albuquerque Fire & Rescue|
|City of Albuquerque Emergency Mgmt|
|Bernalillo County Department of Emergency Management|
|Air and Marine Operations Center|
|NM Office of Special Investigation|
A four-mile radius of the airspace around Balloon Fiesta Park is controlled by a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR). This area is controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration. The only aircraft allowed in this area around Balloon Fiesta Park includes authorized hot air balloons, gas balloons, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. UNAUTHORIZED DRONES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE BALLOON FIESTA AIRSPACE. Flying unauthorized aircraft within the TFR is a federal offense.
About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta presented by Canon is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonists in the world. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website balloonfiesta.com and follow us on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.