Accessibility

Easy Access Basket flights

Australia’s first Easy Access Basket (EAB) was launched by Global Ballooning Australia in 2012.

The basket enables passengers with physical mobility impairments to experience the joy of a hot air balloon flight along with their family and friends.

Unlike traditional balloon baskets that require passengers to climb in and out over the edge, the innovative EAB incorporates a door to allow less able-bodied individuals, including those with serious physical disabilities, to enter and exit the basket with ease. The EAB also incorporates customised seating, harness and a grab handle suspended from the burner frame.

Before you book

  • The Easy Access Basket (EAB) is subject to availability and flown over Yarra Valley on weekdays only (Mon-Fri), except public holidays.
  • The basket can hold a maximum of 10 passengers, with the ability to have 2 passengers sitting down (note: it is a cozy fit if there are 2 passengers sitting). No more than two passengers requiring the use of the EAB will fly on a particular day.
  • Individuals requiring the use of the EAB are required to share the experience with a carer/helper/friend/family member on the morning, along with other passengers flying in the same basket. 
  • Unfortunately, we cannot take wheelchairs onboard. If you are in a wheelchair, you will need to transfer from your wheelchair into the basket which has a seat inside it. 
  • The EAB has particular operating parameters, and our staff may cancel your flight at late notice because of this. Ballooning relies on suitable weather conditions in order to proceed safely. If this is the case, we will reschedule your flight for a suitable time
  • Unfortunately, Global Ballooning Australia does not have wheelchair accessible transportation available to and from launch and landing sites. If you require a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you will be required to arrange your own transportation from the meeting place to the launch site. Whilst you’re on your flight, your organised transportation will follow our ground crew.

PRIOR TO BOOKING:

  • Please email our office to confirm whether the EAB basket is available & to chat about your requirements.
  • The Global Ballooning team will you separate EAB terms and conditions upon booking. Please read, sign & return this no later than 1 week prior to your flight. 
The Easy Access Basket journey…

It hasn’t always been smooth flying for GBA’s CEO/Founder, Kiff. In January 2010, Kiff was in a near-fatal motorbike accident. He woke up in the Royal Melbourne Hospital and with life-threatening injuries began a yearlong recovery process. As he entered the long road of rehabilitation, having to learn to walk again, he feared that he might never again return to being a commercial balloon pilot.

Whilst in rehab, Kiff met specialist injury lawyers, Peter Burt and Clara Davies, who began acting for him in his TAC claim. Having never previously acted for a balloon pilot, Burt and Davies embarked on research into a day in the life of a hot air balloonist. This involved them experiencing an early morning flight over Melbourne and subsequent discussions about what was involved. During his journey back to health, many discussions were had and a bond was formed. This led to Kiff’s epiphany to build Australia’s first Easy Access Basket, allowing those who live with a disability to experience a lighter than air balloon flight over Melbourne and to improve quality of life in the process.

Global Ballooning Australia and Burt & Davies jointly funded the design and production of Australia’s first commercial disabled passenger balloon. It is an innovative and altruistic joint venture intended to provide happiness to those who would otherwise be denied.

This project required a first of its type balloon basket to be designed and constructed by an Australian balloon manufacturer and certified airworthy by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Global Ballooning Australia amended its operating procedures after making a successful safety case to CASA and thereby obtaining an exemption against the regulations prohibiting the flight of handicapped persons in commercial hot air balloon operations.