NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new mandate Wednesday, requiring all commercial hot air balloon pilots to hold a second-class medical certificate when flying paying passengers. This is the same standard that is required for other commercial pilots.

Previously, commercial hot air balloon pilots were not required to have the medical certificate. “Passengers can now rest assured that commercial balloon pilots must meet the same strict medical requirements as other commercial pilots,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen in a release. The FAA proposed the mandate in November 2021 before making it an official mandate Wednesday. Click here to view the full mandate.