How to avoid wasting money on hot-air balloons?
The hot-airs ballooning business has grown by about $1.4 billion to $1 billion annually in the past two years, according to a recent survey by the American Balloon Association, an industry trade group.
The market is still small, but that is likely because of a limited supply of balloons, said Barry Anderson, president of the Balloon Business Association of North America, which represents balloons.
Most balloon manufacturers can sell their balloons to the public for $20, Anderson said.
Balloon owners pay for the balloon, which has to be inflated at a balloon manufacturer’s facility in Texas, he said.
He said balloon companies often buy helium balloons from manufacturers outside of the United States, but they usually pay inflated balloons to customers.
The American Balloon Society does not recommend balloon use in the United Sates.
Anderson said balloon manufacturers are generally satisfied with the way they are able to supply their customers.
Ballooning companies may be operating from a location with good air quality, said David Baugh, president and CEO of the Association of Balloon Manufacturers.
But there are risks associated with the use of hot-shots.
The balloon can burn up and damage the balloon.
A balloon can fail during flight, especially if it hits a thunderstorm.
A hot-shot balloon could burst into flames, Anderson noted.
Balloon safety rules vary from state to state.
For example, some states require operators to have a special pilot’s license, or even a certified pilot.
Some states require that balloons must be equipped with a warning light when flying above 500 feet, or less than 20 feet, from buildings.
The United States has no national standards for balloon size.
Anderson estimated that there are about 3,000 balloon companies in the world.
He added that the balloon industry is a “growing, dynamic industry.”