Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championships to Feature Record In-Line launch attempt at Waterford Airport

Sept 2014

The Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championships have added a record attempt to launch the largest number of hot air balloons in a single line at Waterford Airport while the festival takes place in the City from September 21st to 26th 2014.

The feat was last performed at Waterford Airport back in 2009 when 24 eye-catching hot air balloons took to the skies above the airport and booked their place in history as the largest ever number of hot air balloons taking off in-line at an airport in Ireland and in the UK. This September the balloon pilots plan to break the record which still stands.

Commenting on the record attempt, event organiser and balloonist Joe Daly said, “We are very much looking forward to the festival and bringing the colourful spectacle to Waterford. While Waterford city is hosting the 44th Irish National Championships, at Waterford Airport we will attempt to break the standing record of 24 balloons taking off in a single line simultaneously at an Airport. It will be a sight to behold and all of the balloon pilots travelling to take part in the championships will relish this opportunity to be involved in the record attempt.”

Desmond O’Flynn, CEO at Waterford Airport said they looking forward to playing their part. “Hot air balloons have to submit to the same aviation regulations as aircraft for landing and take-off at Waterford Airport as well as the use of the adjacent air space. We are delighted to be involved and provide Air Traffic Control assistance to the balloon crews at the festival and for the record attempt. Those wishing to view the record attempt at the Airport can do so from the perimeter fence beside the Airport terminal. We will also post images and a video on our social media channels.”

The Irish National Hot Air Ballooning Championships are the longest running such event in the world and balloons from throughout Ireland, the UK, France, Holland, Italy and USA will travel to take part in the visually spectacular aviation event. The first event was held in 1971 county Longford and was attended by a handful of balloons. The event now attracts over 40 balloons annually and is the biggest of its kind in Ireland, with the ancient aircraft taking to flight entirely depending on the wind for direction.

Each morning and evening of the festival, a launch of the balloons will take place from a different location subject to flyable conditions. Locations include The People’s Park, Piltown, Lismore Castle, Carriganore, Carroll’s Cross and Waterford Airport. In addition to the launches, the balloonists plan to provide a spectacular Night Glow where they inflate at night to the sound of music on the City’s Quayside, a sight to behold for all spectators. During the festival the Balloon crews will travel to local schools to demonstrate the balloons and talk to schoolchildren about the science of ballooning.

The Irish National Hot Air Ballooning Championships commence in Waterford on Sunday, 21st September and continue until Friday, 26th September. Further information can be found on or


Pictured is record In-Line launch of Largest number of hot air balloons in a single line at Waterford Airport in 2009