Balloon festival fizzles out

AIRSPACE restrictions imposed by Mildura Airport may have cost the city hosting rights to the national hot air balloon championships.

The Mildura International Balloon Fiesta (MIBF), which has held the championships before and in 2004 brought the world titles to Sunraysia, pulled the pin on its bid for the 2018 event in recent weeks.

MIBF treasurer Ian Benning said, while not a done deal, Mildura was in the box seat for hosting duties until Mildura Airport management instituted a ban on ballooning within five nautical miles of its airspace.

The order was overturned by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on October 23 but Mr Benning said the revocation came too late.

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