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Mayor Signs Legislation Supporting Balloonists

Clear standards for safety and uniformity for launches and landings

March 22, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Today Mayor Richard J. Berry joined the Planning Department, and local balloonist to officially sign City Council Bill O-12-39. The ordinance amends the Zoning Code to add a new section making the launching and landing of hot air balloons a permissive use in all zoning districts, in essence ensuring Albuquerque is balloonist friendly.

Prior to this ordinance, hot air balloons were not included in the City’s Zoning Code, and there were no clearly defined parameters for launching and landing a balloon within the city limits. Thanks to the updated ordinance balloonist can now land and launch anywhere within the city. When the legislation was drafted homeowners were protected from having a balloon land on their private property.

"We are the balloon capital of the world," said Mayor Berry. "This amendment to the zoning code confirms our commitment, as a city, to the unparalleled experience of ballooning! And it shows our appreciation to local small businesses and hobbyists that utilize hot air balloons."

The ordinance, drafted by City Councilor Michael Cook, creates the following opportunities for balloonists:

•    Formulates clear standards for safety and uniformity for balloon launches and landings city-wide
•    Continues to promote and encourage City support of ballooning in Albuquerque
•    Creates predictability for launches and landings city-wide
•    Preserves economic development within the ballooning community and provides for growth and employment within the industry
•    Set’s a great example of public/private collaboration that supports community issues such as this