The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) area that will make the October 4-13 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta a No Drone Zone. This is to protect the safety of the balloon operators as well as the visitors to this popular event.
This year’s fiesta is expected to launch 550 hot air balloons with 650 pilots from around the world at the event and 886,307 guests in attendance over the 9 days.
The TFR prohibits drones within a 4 nautical-mile-radius of Balloon Fiesta Park up to 2,700 feet in altitude from 5:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. local time each day. During these times, a person cannot fly a drone without FAA authorization. Further details are available in the drone TFR. Ole hyvä ja katso NOTAM number 9/8221.
The FAA, in partnership with local, state, and federal law enforcement, will actively look for illegal drone operations at and around Balloon Fiesta Park. If a drone is flown within the restricted area without permission, flyers could face civil penalties that exceed $30,000 and potential criminal prosecution.
Balloon operators and spectators at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta who see a drone flying can report it to event staff, local law enforcement, or call the event command center directly.
Drone pilots should check the FAA’s B4UFLY app to determine when and where they can safely fly.