Primary Pilot
  • Application Fee: $150.00 U.S.
  • Registered/Approved primary pilots will receive:
    • Propane
    • Pilot pack (Pilot ID/Ops Manual/ PZ Map)
    • Jacket
    • Tickets to official social events
    • Souvenir basket banner
  • All primary pilots are required to pay the $150.00 application fee even if you are a sponsored pilot
Additional Pilot
  • Application Fee: None
  • Additional pilots will receive:
    • Pilot ID
    • Balloon Operations Manual & Rules and Regulations
    • PZ Map
General Application Conditions
  • Pilots may fly only in balloons and in events, which they are registered.
  • Additional Pilots can register on no more than 2 balloons
  • Student Pilots may not register or act as PIC in or during Balloon Fiesta.
  • Pilots will receive email notification of acceptance by May 8, 2020. AIBF does not maintain a waiting list.
  • ALL pilots must abide by rules established for the 2020 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®.
  • Once the maximum number of pilots are accepted, no more applications will be processed.
  • We are limiting the number of competitive balloons to 300. Once we reach that number, you may only register as a non-competitor!
  • Applications received after April 30, 2020, if accepted, will require a non-refundable late fee of $100.00.

No applications will be accepted after May 29, 2020.

Cancellation policy

Cancellations must be submitted, in writing or by email to Jennifer Garcia at the Balloon Fiesta office, no later than June 30, 2020 in order to receive a refund of the $150.00 application fee.


  • Primary pilots residing more than 50 miles from Albuquerque are eligible for hotel accommodations or an RV site with electricity for up to 9 nights (in October 2 – out October 11).
  • Once your event registration is approved by AIBF, primary pilots will receive an approval email with ‘Pilot Rooms’ and ‘Upgrade Premium Pilot Rooms’ links to access and complete their hotel reservation. If you choose any room on the ‘Upgrade Premium Pilot Rooms’ list, you are responsible for the additional nightly upgrade charges listed. You are responsible for all incidental charges incurred during your stay upon checkout.
  • All hotel reservations must be made through HBC Event Services and all RV site reservations must be made through the AIBF RV Coordinator.
  • Alternate Housing Program: Balloon Fiesta will provide $1,100 each to the first 60 eligible pilots who choose to secure their own housing/accommodations for Balloon Fiesta and not use HBC to secure their hotel room. The first 60 pilots to indicate they want to receive this Alternate Housing Program money will be based on the time stamp of their pilot application submission. If there are, more than 60 that want to participate in the program a waitlist will be created. Balloon Fiesta will provide the program money at Pilot Registration. Participants will be required to provide a W-9 form and a signed acknowledgement that Balloon Fiesta is not responsible for their accommodations.
  • If you choose to stay at a hotel that has not been approved by Balloon Fiesta in advance, Balloon Fiesta will not pay any portion of your room charges. Exception only applies to the Alternate Housing Program participants who are paid directly.
  • Please note that in order to occupy a hotel room you will be required to provide a "Major Credit Card" when you make your reservation and check-in at the property for any incidentals and/or additional room nights.
  • If you do not use a hotel or an RV site and you inform Balloon Fiesta, in writing or by email to Jennifer Garcia by August 14, 2020, you will receive a refund of your pilot entry fee at Registration.
  • Any hotel cancellations must be made to Balloon Fiesta Travel (HBC) using contact information provided on reservation confirmation form. You will be required to pay a $35.00 cancellation fee. If you cancel your Balloon Fiesta Participation after September 1, you may be responsible for all room night charges and the $35.00 cancellation fee.
  • Balloon Fiesta attempts to secure a set number of Chase Crew hotel rooms each year, with that in mind we are trying to have enough lodging for everyone. Please note that Balloon Fiesta will limit the discounted Chase Crew rooms per Primary Pilot to two (2). Any additional rooms will need to be secured with the Additional Room link in your approval email.

Eligible pilots participating in only the Special Shape Rodeo will receive hotel accommodations for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Oct. 7,8, & 9), unless prior arrangements are made with the AIBF.
Pilots flying in the America's Challenge will receive hotel accommodations per Gas Event rules.


If your balloon contains any logos, trademarks or words, you must submit a photograph or description of the logos, trademarks and words along with your application. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of your right to participate in the Balloon Fiesta.

  • Logo balloons are subject to a commercial entry fee of $4,000.00 U.S.
  • All commercial entries must be approved by AIBF
  • Commercial Contract Pilots will not receive compensation from AIBF.
  • For commercial entry fees and details, please contact AIBF at (888) 422-7277 or (505) 821-1000.


If AIBF selects you to carry a sponsor envelope banner and if you meet all other criteria set forth by the Balloon Fiesta®, you may be eligible to receive compensation.

  • As required in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), you must be a COMMERCIAL PILOT to be considered.
  • You will be notified when and if you have been selected to carry a sponsor envelope banner.
  • Please make no assumption that you will carry a banner because you have carried one in the past.
  • Sponsor Banner Allowance will not be paid to pilots who are under contract to be paid by their sponsor to fly a balloon or balloon rides at the Balloon Fiesta.
  • You will be asked to complete a W-9 to receive compensation.


If AIBF selects you to participate as a media or government relations pilot, you must fly AIBF designated passengers when assigned.

  • You might be asked to fly designated passengers on both weekends and on Wednesday (Mass Ascension days - total of 5 days)
  • As required in 14 CFR, you must be a COMMERCIAL PILOT in order to receive compensation.
  • You will be asked to complete a W-9 to receive compensation.
  • Media Pilots must be able to carry more than one (1) flight crewmember.


  • You must be pre-approved by Sam Parks or Jennifer Garcia to participate in the "on field" Dawn Patrol.
  • Your balloon must have aircraft lights and comply with 14 CFR.
  • You may not participate in Dawn Patrol unless you are notified prior to Balloon Fiesta® that you have been accepted to fly Dawn Patrol.


  • Only COMPLETED entry forms with proper paperwork will be considered.
  • Online applications are considered complete once we receive all required paperwork and a valid credit card for payment of the application fee.


A balloon insurance policy must be in full force during the 2020 Balloon Fiesta (October 2 through 11, plus October 2, if you wish to participate in the Albuquerque Aloft) as follows:

  • Minimum amount of $1,000,000 (US) bodily injury
  • Minimum amount of $100,000 (US) property damage
  • Minimum amount of $100,000 (US) passenger liability for each and every passenger (zero dollar liability deductible)
  • Through an insurance company with a BEST rating of at least B+, or its equivalent if the company is not domiciled in the United States.
  • For the rating of your insurance company call the insurance department of the state in which you reside or contact your insurance agent.
  • For pilots using balloon insurance from either RPS IMC Balloon (Allianz) or Aviation Insurance Resources AIR (T.H.E.), AIBF will confirm coverage directly with the insurance provider.
  • For pilots using balloon insurance from any other provider, you MUST forward the Certificate of Insurance Form to your insurance agent to be completed and returned to AIBF by August 3, 2020.

The total number of passengers/flight crew is limited to the number allowed by the balloon manufacturer's flight manual, insurance coverage or 4 flight crew members, including the pilot (except for Official Ride Concessionaire) whichever figure is less unless receiving written permission from AIBF prior to Balloon Fiesta.


As part of this Pre-Registration you will be required to provide copies of the following documents that will be current for 2020 Balloon Fiesta:

  • FAA plastic pilot certificate
  • Latest Flight Review
  • Latest Medical Certificate (if applicable)
  • Latest Annual Inspection
  • Balloon Registration
  • Balloon Airworthiness Certificate
  • Copies of Operating Limitations for Experimental Aircraft, if applicable must be provided to AIBF.

The FAA requires Special Flight Authorization (SFA) documents for all foreign-registered experimental balloons.

If you do not provide current valid copies prior to Sept. 1, the FAA will require ORIGINAL documents for verification at on-site registration. All international pilots will be required to visit with the FAA and present all original documents to the FAA on-site.


You will be required to have an Aircraft Radio on board during each flight and properly use an Inflation Harness during your inflations. We recommend pilots have on board an appropriate radio(s) that can monitor UHF Frequency (456.8125) for communication from the Balloonmeister.


You may not sell any products or services at Balloon Fiesta Park unless you have executed a concession agreement with AIBF.

  • No products, including shirts or pins, may be sold on the Launch Field of Balloon Fiesta Park.
  • Distribution of pamphlets and/or printed material is not permitted, with the exception of Balloon Trading cards.
  • "Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta"®, "The Big One"®, "America's Challenge"™, "Special Shape Rodeo"™, "Glowdeo"™, "Night Magic Glow"™, "AfterGlow"™, "Twilight Twinkle Glow"™ and "Albuquerque Aloft"™ are trademarks and may not be used without express approval from AIBF and the proper applicable licensing fees paid to AIBF. This includes all souvenir items and videos.


Balloon Fiesta has an Official Concessionaire who operates all commercial passenger rides within the Balloon Fiesta's airspace.

As a condition of entry, you agree to not sell rides (or solicit any form of compensation) at Balloon Fiesta Park and further agree not to conduct any operations involving balloon rides for hire or compensation within the Balloon Fiesta's restricted airspace or within 4 nautical miles of Balloon Fiesta Park whichever is greater, during the Balloon Fiesta events.


Aircraft and pilots operating within the Balloon Fiesta TFR must be properly registered with AIBF. Violation of this may result in interrogation by various agencies of law enforcement or Homeland Security.

I have read the above conditions of entry and I agree to abide by all of them if I am accepted into the 2020 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.