Hot Air Balloon works according to the natural law that hot air is lighter than cold air.


13.1  Hot Air Balloon works according to the natural law that hot air is lighter than cold air. To generate lift and therefore take flight, hot air balloons employ a burner that heats the air within the balloon until it becomes lighter than the external air. The difference in the temperature inside the balloon relative to the outside temperature determines the amount of lift the balloon will have. Accordingly, by controlling the internal temperature, the balloon's flight is controlled with respect to ascent and descent.

13.2  The single most defining factor of balloon Flight Safety is the weather. From take-off to landing; fog, rain, snow, wind, thermal winds etc. are all key elements to consider when attempting a safe hot air balloon flight. Before a safe balloon flight can begin, the pilot must always check the forecast and select a suitable departure and landing point. D.G.C.A. in India has formulated regulations for Hot Air Balloon in the Civil Aviation Requirements Car Section 2 – Air worthiness: Series 'F' Part Xv, Issue Ii, Dated 1st September '1993 of D.G.C.A., Min of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India and wherever any clarification needed should be read with this CAR

13.3  There is no difference as far as the regulations are concerned between free flights and tethered flights. All the requirements of pilot qualification and equipment registration have to be met for tethered flights.


13.4  Balloons are aircraft and, as such, are regulated by the D.G.C.A.. They must meet manufacturing standards and are subject to periodic inspections, just like a commercial jetliner The Balloon need to be registered with the D.G.C.A. and its registration no. displayed on the Balloon.


13.5  Balloon pilots are certified by the D.G.C.A., in the same manner as airplane pilots. Pilots must have taken formal flight instruction, pass written and practical tests, and be re-examined periodically and hold Balloon Pilot Licenses (BPL) issued by D.G.C.A..


13.6 Hot Air Balloon Operations should be undertaken with the following considerations:-

a) Operating instructions must be furnished in a Flight Manual with each balloon.

b) Flight Manual Information and Approval. The Flight Manual must contain:

i. A description of the balloon and its technical equipment with explanatory sketches.

ii. Operating limitations, normal procedures (including rigging, inflation and deflation), emergency procedures, and other relevant information specific to the balloon’s operating characteristics and necessary for safe operation.

iii. Specification of the permissible lifting gas and

iv. Information for ground handling, transport and storage


13.7 The following documentation is required to be maintained by the operator:



a) Details of owner and operator

b) Document indicating the annual inspections carried out by an inspecting body

c) List of Pilots along with copies of relevant certifications

d) Evidence of public and other liability insurance


a) Log book containing the daily operation sheets

b) Accident/ incident report sheets

c) Flight and operations log

d) Passenger Manifest Sheets

e) Risk assessment and management plan

f) Emergency procedures manual

g) Manufacturer’s product manual

h) Current inspection report

Information to be provided for participants and visitors:

a) Description of the activity and safety instructions

b) Weather, Medical and Age Limits and restrictions

c) Information relating to personal public liability insurance of the operator


Emergencies and Risk Mitigation

13.8 Each Ballooning operator should establish and review procedures for all possible emergencies.

13.9 Every pilot and passenger should thoroughly understand emergency procedures. Pre-flight passenger briefing must be carried out by the Pilot in command.

13.10 A monthly risk assessment as per given proforma needs to be carried out reviewed by the chief instructor and the owner/operator and records maintained.