Volunteering at Balloon Fiesta®


Why are our Volunteers called Navigators? 

To Navigate is to direct, guide, or manage a traveler on its course. A Navigator is a person who navigates.

The word navigator embodies the role we expect you to play, for our guests, pilots, crew, even fellow navigators and staff, -- offering guidance, showing them the way, and confidently leading them to everything they need to have an outstanding experience. We recognize and honor that you are volunteering your time, effort and skills; we hope that you will wear the Navigator title proudly and show the world that AIBF Navigators are as world-class as the event. 

What is a Navigator?

Approx. 1200 individuals who have completed the Navigator application process, been assigned to a Navigator team, and completed all modules of the Navigator Basic Training their first year.  Navigators help before, during, and after the event and are critical to the success of the event. Navigators are under the direct supervision of an AIBF Staff person, who may or may not be assisted by a Navigator Team Leader(s). Navigators are critical to every area of operations, providing guest services, admministrative services, balloon coordination and safety, set-up and logistics on approx. 45 different teams.

Check out the Job description for each team here: 

To conduct the world's premier ballooning event while renewing friendships and promoting camaraderie among all participants and promoting the sport of ballooning, the City of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico, nationally and internationally. 

Ready to become a Navigator?  Navigator Application
Returning Navigators:  Already a Navigator? 

Other Ways to get Involved at Fiesta 


Launch Directors, better known as Zebras, assist pilots and crew to have a safe, coordinated standup and launch. Launch Directors need to be sure that spectators are cleared from the paths of the balloons taking off. Zebras then speak with the pilots to make sure that they are ready to fly. Once the pilots are ready, Zebras look for surrounding traffic overhead and to the sides of the balloon. After it is determined clear, Zebras give pilots the "thumbs up".  Launch Directors are enthusiastic individuals, and the position requires many volunteer hours,  attention to detail, and a priority of safety. 



If you are interested in becoming a ZEBRA, please fill out this form!


Chase Crew

Chase Crew members are individuals who assist the pilot in launch, flight, chase, landing, deflation and pack up during a flight or glow. While Chase Crew members volunteer their time in assistance to the various pilots at Balloon Fiesta, they are not considered Navigators or AIBF volunteers. AIBF is happy to assist in connecting potential chase crew members to pilots participating in the event, but chase crew is not supervisied, trained, scheduled, or managed by Balloon Fiesta officially. AIBF does not assume any responsibility for the performance or actions of these potential crew members. 


If you are interested in joining a chase crew for the 2022 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, please complete the Chase Crew Application beginning July 15, 2022 through September 1, 2022. Applications must be completed by August 31.    


Balloon Fiesta has a limited number of RV spaces available to Navigators in trade for volunteer hours. These spaces are by assignment based on scheduled hours, not by request. These spaces will not be awarded until the schedule of the Navigator can be confirmed. If you need an RV Space to be able to attend Balloon Fiesta, please make arrangments to pay for a site and if you are selected for a discount, that can be applied.  Requesting an RV Space on your Navigator application does not guarantee you an RV Reservation, paid or discounted, as your accomodation for the event. 

 Workamper Requirements to be Considered for an RV Space

While we would like to be able to accommodate all requests, we have a limited number of availability.

We will consider all requests that meet the following criteria:

  • 40-50 hours volunteered per person in 1 calendar year = 1/2 off dry camping (Normally $40/night)
  • 51-120 hours volunteered per person in 1 calendar year = free dry camping (Normally $40/night)
  • 121+ hours volunteered per person in 1 calendar year = free premium camping (Normally $95/night)

Hours will be verified with your Team Leader and you may be required to track your hours electronically. Navigators must abide by all standard rules and regulations that apply to RV camping.

Note: You do not have an RV Reservation until the Navigator Manager and/or RV Manager extend an offer to you based on the hours you have already signed up for in schedules in Volgistics. 

Questions? Email sgreenwald@balloonfiesta.com.


Balloon Fiesta contracts a number of local service organizations, such as the Civitans or Kiwanis, to manage areas such as parking lots, admission booths and merchandise sales. Those organizations then staff those areas with smaller organizations, who then receive a portion of sales proceeds from that area. This allows the smaller organization to fund-raise for various causes. 

If your group is looking for fundraising opportunities, contact the Balloon Fiesta staff person listed below, and they will connect you with the appropriate management organization. 

  • Admissions, parking and fee-for-parking 
    If your group would like to help in one of these areas, Amanda Brady, Transportation Manager, at (505) 821-1000  or abrady@balloonfiesta.com.  
  • Souvenir Sales 
    Selling souvenir and glow products via roving carts. If your group would like to help in this area, contact Erica Hahn, Concessions Manager, at (505) 821-1000 or ehahn@balloonfiesta.com.
  • For other group inquiries, email balloons@balloonfiesta.com.