on_the_playa sectional graphic


Q. What do you call a diverse collection of airplanes, gliders, hot air balloons, skydivers, ultralights, and helicopters in the desert?

A.Black Rock City International Airport.

Aviators at Burning Man need to cooperate and play nicely together so no one gets hurt. Each type of flying vehicle or apparatus has different requirements to maximize the nifty factor and minimize the nuisance factor.

In addition to the aviators, there will be kites, radio-controlled gliders, towers, and obstacles of many sorts. Please read on to find out what you need to do to make the aviation activities run smoothly and keep the airport in operation next year.

The BLM is expected to publish a temporary closure to landing aircraft within about five miles of the event. Except during Burning Man or other special events, the entire desert is normally open for landing. Areas outside the closed area are available as usual for all aviation activities. A detailed map of the areas closed will be available at the Airport.

Questions, complaints, suggestions, and offers to help can be made during the event to the Airport Manager, or any volunteer Airport Staff at the Phoenix Bar & Lounge.


The runway location is often not known until just before the event. Expect the landing pattern to be on the side away from Black Rock City. Avoid flying over Black Rock City at any altitude. If you do need to pass directly overhead, do so at the highest possible altitude for your purpose. The minimum legal altitude over an open air assembly of persons is 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a 2,000 foot radius of the aircraft. FAR Sec. 91.119

Use 122.9 to state your location and intentions. Aircraft may be circling the city in opposite directions at different altitudes. Not all aircraft in the vicinity are on frequency.

Give the walk-in camping area a wide berth, especially early in the morning. Additional noise abatement procedures and information on current aviation activities is available during the event from Black Rock Unicom, 122.9.


Motorized vehicles are to remain parked and stationary in Black Rock City for the duration of the event. You may secure your ultralight at the Airport, take-off on the runway, and fly it well outside the perimeter fence. A preferred area may be selected to minimize conflicts between the slower, lower ultralights, and the faster airplanes. Preferred operations will depend on winds, other aviation activity, and the needs of the ultralight pilots.

Many people find the noise from the ultralights including powered para-gliders to be particularly obnoxious. Your courtesy and cooperation are greatly appreciated by your Burning Man neighbors.


Skydivers need to file a NOTAM with the Reno Flight Service Station at least one hour before jumping and not more than 24 hours before. If you have not done so previously, please contact the Airport Manager, airport (at) burningman (dot) com before the event to coordinate the filing of the required notices.

Jump pilots need to communicate on 122.9 to advise other pilots when jumping activities are commencing. Preferred landing areas are determined on site during the event because of unknowns and may change daily. Jumpers must coordinate with the Black Rock Rangers before landing within the fence boundaries.