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How to Fly to Burning Man

July 13, 2015

Brand new Burning Man video features 88NV –the Black Rock City temporary airport! 

Did you know that Black Rock City, home to Burning Man, has its own airport? Indeed it does! IMG_1309

As you may or may not know, Black Rock City, home to Burning Man, has a temporary airport designated 88NV –and it’s had an airport (such as it is) for 20 years. Before that, people just flew onto the playa, but now with up to 200 planes at the airport and dozens of commercial, charter, and private flights coming and going, it is quite an established affair.

According to the video description, “Black Rock City Municipal Airport is also known as 88NV — its IATA airport code. For a few days a year it becomes Nevada’s 3rd busiest airport and is one of only a handful of federally recognized temporary airports. Befitting for its community, the airport is unique in many ways. And like most things at Burning Man, the airport is the joint volunteer effort of a bunch of good people who want to share their passion for flight with the Black Rock City community.”

While yes, many celebrities and politicians come through the turnstiles every day during the event that the airport is open, lots of regular folk –well if you call pilots regular folk– fly in and out and about.

Among my many Burning Man email lists and groups (Burning Moms, Kidsville, Burning Nerds, Black Rock Scouts to name a few) is the BRC Airport Aviators List. Originally I joined it because I was trying to secure a ride out there.  It didn’t work out but it has been a fascinating list to be on and this morning the video above and the tidbit below arrived from Calamity Charles, Airport Operations Manager 88NV.burningman.com that I had to share! The video was published on July 11, 2015 so it’s brand new!

Air Charters, your Air Carrier Agreement with Outside Services requires that you make BRC acculturation materials available to your passengers. A new video has been released that we think will be especially helpful to your passengers arriving at 88NV. Please make sure they have a chance to see this: https://youtu.be/Zz7jFQjPUF8

Many pilots gift scenic flights that circle the city. I will tell you from experience that our ride in “Miss Vicky” was one of the best Burning Man gifts ever!  My family and I enjoyed it so much to see the city from the air. How do you catch a ride? Show up at the airport by 8am and you’ll probably get up–got to be there early for the best weather and fewer people trying to catch a ride. Wear a hat and sunscreen and bring water and food! The video above discusses this and more including what it’s like to arrive at BRC by airplane. The 88NV website explains Arrival:

After being met by an Interceptor, your pilot will guide you through the safety corridor to the offices. Step 1: Validate your ticket at the Box Office and pay the Airport fee. Cash and paper tickets are preferred and will expedite your progress. But Will Call works at the Airport too. Your hand will get a stamp. Step 2:  Show your hand stamp at the Passport Office to have your name checked off the flight manifest. Your hand will receive a 2nd stamp. Step 3: Show your two stamps in the Customs Shack where you will receive your processing by the Department of Homeland Insecurity and be greeted. Then you can enter the Event Horizon. Welcome!

Want to fly in to BRC yourself? The 88NV website says you have several options: book a seat on an Air Carrier Flight, a charter aircraft, or share a flight via Flight-Share with others on a private aircraft. It includes listings like the one below. If you’re in the LA area, have a ticket, an EA pass, less than 25# to take (that means your campmates are hauling your stuff), and $1900  I even know someone who has got spots on a chartered plane (it’s less than $1500 to fly back to Burbank): fly nonstop from Bob Hope Burbank Airport on Friday, August 28, 2015 at noon, arriving Burning Man around 2:45 pm. So if you don’t have time but you do have money, contact DustyPlayaATaolDOTcom.

As Dusty Playa points out, “One airstrip. Daytime flights only. Huge demand. Everyone wanting to come and go at the same time. Doing the math, it’s actually very cheap. Especially if you count the $$ you earn by working about four extra days and the vacation days you don’t lose.”

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