Home > Get Involved > Pilot Registration

Pilot Registration

Each year hot air balloons from across the United States arrive in Plano, Texas to participate in the H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival. Throughout the history of this annual event, local, regional, national and international hot air balloons have participated in this family friendly festival.

Registration for this year’s festival is now open

Pilots that are interested in participating in our event for the first time and meet the festival qualifications listed below, please send an email to pilots@planoballoonfest.org for registration guidelines and requirements.

Pat Cannon will serve as Balloonmeister this year.


To participate in this year’s Festival all persons acting as pilot-in-command must hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate with Lighter than Air Free Balloon Rating and a minimum of 75 hours total LTA to fly, or a minimum of 40 hours LTA in balloons to participate in the tether/glow events. All hours will need to be noted on the application as requested. Pilots must attend all pilot briefings. Pilot in Command must be approved by the Event. The Event retains the right to review and not accept a potential Pilot in Command.

All Pilots will participate in all balloon events.
  • Fly Out Competition - Saturday and Sunday Mornings
  • Glow - Friday and Saturday Evenings


The following items MUST be presented to us at pilot registration:
  • Copy of Pilot Certificate (front and back)
  • Copy of Photo ID
  • Copy of Balloon Registration
  • Copy of Airworthiness Certificate
  • Copy of Logbook Page showing Current Inspection
  • Copy of Logbook Page showing last Flight Review
  • Copy of Medical Certificate as required by the FAA (i.e. Class 2 Medical) if applicable
Documentation for all pilots will be reviewed and any information that may have changed between your registration submission and pilot check in will be updated.

All balloons must be properly equipped (with inflation harness) and ready for potential inspection prior to each event. Proof of insurance will be verified by the festival.

You will be contacted prior to the festival if there is an issue or concern.


This year we will be utilizing both the Home2 Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites, which are located near each other. Both hotels will provide King & Double Queen accommodations.
  • The Home2 Suites is located at 401 Wynhurst Dr, Plano, Texas 75074
  • The Hampton Inn & Suites is located at 2813 E. President George Bush Highway, Plano, Texas 75074.
Rooms will be available on a 'first come, first served' basis. Every effort will be made to honor your accommodation request.

Pilots registering as primary pilot will receive a room, and if needed we will also provide one additional room to be used for crew for Friday and Saturday evenings.

Room Selection and Reservations will be part of the online application.

Please do not contact the hotel directly for your pilot and crew room the Festival is providing (up to two rooms provided per balloon). If an additional room is needed, please see below.


Volunteer Chase Crew will only be provided for Special Shape Balloons this year. All other pilots are responsible for providing their own crew.

If you require an additional room (in addition to the one pilot and one crew the Festival is providing), a special room rate of $104 is available. These reservations must be made by you directly. To book additional rooms please use the link below.

The $104 rate is available until August 28th.

The $104 rate is available until August 28th.


Sport Pilots will receive $300.


You will need to complete Pilot Registration as well as contact the Festival at 972-867-7566 to ensure your company has completed the corporate sponsorship paperwork.


Please email pilots@planoballoonfest.org if you are interested in bringing your special shape to this year’s festival.


Additional information will be emailed to you in September. We look forward to seeing you at the 45th Annual H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival on September 19, 20, 21, & 22, 2024.

The Festival will open on Thursday afternoon, September 19th at 5pm hosting a collaboration with the Plano Symphony Orchestra. A few balloons will participate in a Glow that is orchestrated to the Symphony’s musical concert. Propane will be provided for those that wish to participate. No hotel rooms or volunteer crew will be provided. Please contact Bill Broker if you are interested: wlbballooning@yahoo.com

The Festival will close at 11AM on Sunday, September 22nd so there will be no evening activities.

Pilot Registration

Click on the link below to register for the 2024 Festival.


If you have any questions, do not wish to remain on the invitation list, or are no longer ballooning, please send an email to pilots@planoballoonfest.org and indicate 'Remove From Invitation List' so you won't receive future correspondence about the festival.
Back to