International Hot Air Ballooning Championships return to Waterford
Fully Accessible Hot Air Balloon available at this year’s Championships

The 39th International Hot Air Ballooning Championships will take place in Waterford for the second consecutive year from September 20-25.

Up to 40 colourful and eye-catching hot air balloons from throughout Ireland, the UK, France, Holland, Italy and USA will attend the championships. The balloons will fly twice each day, weather permitting, firstly at around 7.30am and again in the evening at approximately 6pm.

According to Joe Daly, Waterford Hot Air Ballooning Club and event organiser, this is a very special gathering, “It is a credit to the people of Waterford and the southeast that the longest running National Hot Air Ballooning Championships in the world are returning to Waterford for the second year in a row. It really is a huge compliment to all of the supporters of the championships. In particular, Waterford Airport’s assistance with Air Traffic Control and their generous support of the aviation event is tremendously valuable.”

Photograph Ken Sutton

The 39 International Hot Air Ballooning Championships will take place in Waterford from September 20 to 25, a number of public launches will take place over the week; to follow the balloons log on to

According to Graham Doyle, CEO, Waterford Airport, it was an easy decision for the airport to support the championships. “Hot Air Ballooning is an exciting aviation activity and we at Waterford Airport are delighted to fully support the event for the second time around. This year a special treat is in store at the championships where the event organisers and the team at Waterford Airport are planning to firmly place Waterford on the map for International Hot Air Ballooning with a record attempt, so watch this space!”

This year’s international event has some extra special features according to Joe Daly: “A unique balloon will be coming to Waterford for the championships. It is an accessible balloon for people with disabilities which is rare as a special basket is required and perfect flight conditions are also required. This balloon will be providing flights to those who would never normally have the opportunity to take a hot air balloon flight. There are a limited number of spaces in this basket so if someone knows of a physically disabled person who really deserves a flight they can contact us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .”

A website for the championships has just been launched and will be updated daily with regard to flight times at the championships.

Further information can be found on and on the event website

Sept 2009