In order to carry paying passengers for hire (and attend some balloon festivals), a pilot must have a commercial pilot certificate. Commercial hot air balloon pilots may also act as hot air balloon flight instructors.
If you are coming to Albuquerque for the world’s largest annual ballooning event, you should know that each year an Official Ride Provider is contracted to book and manage all balloon rides affiliated with the event. If you want to fly in a balloon that launches from Balloon Fiesta Park during this time, you must book your ride with the Official Ride Provider. You should also know that most of the ballooning accidents that have occurred over the years, were not affiliated with the event. Play it safe during Fiesta Week; book your ABQ balloon rides with the Official Ride Provider for the Balloon Fiesta.