ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Balloon pilots are finding it more difficult to find landing spots during Fiesta and other times of the year. Now, the Balloon Landing Task Force that was created back in 2018 to solve this issue is proposing some solutions.
The task force has come up with four potential plans that could help accommodate pilots, including purchasing properties to be used as landing sites. “In order to keep attracting balloonists from all over the world, we’re going to have to provide an atmosphere where they can safely and effectively fly and land their balloon,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Brook Bassan, who is a new member of the Balloon Landing Task Force.
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Balloon Landing Task Force Final Report
One of the biggest properties being considered is a 91-acre plot on the southwest corner of Osuna near AMAFCA’s North Diversion Channel. The property would double as a landing place and a sports field complex. They say it could provide landing space for up to 275 balloons.
There are also almost a dozen smaller properties being considered, including two lots near Cabelas at I-25 and Paseo Del Norte. Those two properties could accommodate 42 balloons at once.
The other plans include modifying large parking lots, to create more space for landing and expanding the X-marks the spot program that was implemented in 2019. “Different private property owners who are willing to allow balloons to land on their property, can put bedsheets out in the shape of an “X” so pilots know it’s a safe and welcome place for them to land,” said Bassan.
The city is currently in the process of purchasing a property on North 2nd Street at the old Mule Barn Cafe site. The resolution was introduced to the council Monday afternoon, but will not be discussed until June.
Bassan says if the complete resolution is approved and all of the suggested parcels of land are purchased, it could cost between $60 and $70 million.
Balloon Landings Task Force: Resolution