PIHABF to hold balloon fest outside Clark in 2019

After 22 years, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) has announced that it will not hold the annual balloon festival in the Clark Freeport Zone and may look for other venue.

In a statement, PIHABF said it “has not received the commitment from our government partners on time” for the holding of the annual “A Weekend of Everything that Flies!” inside the Clark Freeport. Thousands of visitors flock to the hot air balloon festival every year.

Last year, the PIHABF brought in the “Wing Walkers” where two women wing walkers attached to the wing of a biplane treat visitors to death defying stunts.

“We regret to inform you that because PIHABF has not received the commitment from our government partners on time, we will not be able to organize the annual The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (and The Weekend of Everything that Flies!) in Clark this coming February 2019,” the statement said.

PIHABF, however said that it may “organize air shows outside of Clark in 2019.”

“We will announce plans and developments on this website, www.philballoonfest.net, and social media channels and we welcome your continued enthusiastic participation.

“Any other ballooning event not announced on this website/FB page is not organized by PIHABF, which bears an uncompromising track record of ensuring the safety of pilots, participants, and viewers,” the statement further said.

For over two decades, PIHABF gathered local and foreign aviators for the four-day non-stop flying action that include formation flying, skydiving, aerobatics exhibition, paragliding, kite flying and so on.

The increasing flights at the nearby Clark International Airport, however, will affect the annual PIHABF which is seen to relocate outside Clark Freeport.

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