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Recreational ballooning (manned) describes balloons flown by pilots who hold a private balloon certificate issued by a self-administering organisation but don’t carry fare-paying passengers.
When over populated areas, balloons must fly at least 1000 feet above ground level. When over other areas, balloons do not have to fly at a minimum height.
You can find more detailed advice in CAAP 157-1(0) - Balloon flight over populous areas.
Balloon pilots can only land on private property if they, or their support vehicle driver, have permission from the property owner. Permission is not required in emergencies, or if no other landing site is available.
Pilots must plan their flight based on forecast meteorological conditions. However, changes in wind conditions could alter the balloon's navigational tracking from that originally planned.
If property owners are concerned about balloon operations, they should contact the local commercial balloon operator or a self-administering organisation. If the issue can’t be resolved, property owners can contact CASA.
We regulate commercial balloon operations such as those carrying fare-paying passengers on scenic flights. Commercial operations require an air operator certificate (AOC) and the pilot must hold a CASA-issued commercial pilot licence (Balloon).
For more information on commercial ballooning contact us by phoning 131 757.
Find out more about being an informed participant in sport aviation.
The rules are changing
The rules around manned free balloons and hot air airships are changing. Have a look at the new regulations on our flight operations regulations page.
Also read minor amendments to Civil Aviation Order 95.54 which includes:
- provision for recreational operators to be administered, until 14 July 2022, by either the Australian Ballooning Federation or an authorised Approved Self-administering Aviation Organisation under Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 149
- clarification of visual meteorological conditions (VMC) requirements.