0428 441 819 [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions about our Hot Air Balloon Rides and COVID 19 safety

1
What is Balloon Joy Flights COVID 19 safety policy?

BALLOON JOY FLIGHTS COVID19

SAFETY MANAGEMENT POLICY

The aim of this document is to identify the COVID-19 related risk factors that are specific to Balloon Joy Flights P/L (BJF) flying operations..

This document seeks to outline the safety case to mitigate each risk factor.

The following Risk Table outlines identified risks during the passenger journey on a balloon flight, from booking a flight through to breakfast and mitigating the risks to both staff and customers.

RISK TABLE

No. Passenger journey risk area Mitigation strategy :
0 Interactions with staff from Balloon Joy Flights (pilots and crew). .

●      Pilots and crew who show any symptoms of COVID-19 must not come to work, and seek medical advice

●      Social distancing between staff and passengers must be maintained at all times, where practicable.

●      Staff should wear face masks in the vehicle and in the balloon..

●      Gloves must not be shared between crew and between crew and passengers

●      Crew radios, will be  cleaned between use.

●      All employees are encouraged to have the COVIDSafe app loaded and working on their smartphone.  Note that it is illegal to mandate this as a condition of employment

●      If a employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 they should follow the advice contained in the Safe Work Australia Fact Sheet which you can find here: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/what-do-if-worker-has-covid-19-infographic

1 Ensuring the passengers are fully informed regarding what protections have been put in place and their personal obligations to stay COVIDSafe

●      COVID safe information is included on the BJF website and can be found here and also in the flight confirmation form. 

 

 

This includes information on how we are “keeping our passenger safe during your balloon flight”.

●      Passengers who have special needs (e.g. physical disability) and will require assistance to get into the basket must be told that crew will be unable to assist and that a family member must be present to assist and/or go with them as a paying passenger on the flight

●       Passengers are informed at checkin that hand sanitiser is not allowed in balloon basket (see Para 9 “In the basket” below)

2. Passenger tests positive or shows symptoms before flight

●      If a passenger has tested positive to Covid19 they must  have 2 consecutive negative results before  they can take a flight.

●      On the morning before leaving home or when arriving at the meeting point, all passengers should complete the BJF Waiver form to work out if they are at risk of having been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days..

●      If a passenger answers “yes” to any of the questions, they must not participate in the flight and will need to make alternative arrangements based on their personal circumstances and company policy.

●      The 4 questions are asked as an extension to the current waiver and indemnity form that all passengers sign before a flight –  the strong preference is that they have already answered those questions prior to arriving at the meeting point.

3. Passenger does not show symptoms before flight

●      Passenger temperatures will be taken by contactless thermometer e.g. non contact infrared type.  Consider modifying existing T&C’s to include something like “We will take your temperature with an infrared type thermometer. If you have a temperature, you will not be able to participate in your balloon flight for the safety of other passengers and our staff, you will need to contact our office to make alternative arrangements”

●      A fever is present if temperature is 38°C or over.  A normal temperature is around 36-37°C, although it depends on your age, what you’ve been doing, the time of day and how you take the measurement.

●      Preflight information or confirmation email  includes wording to encourage use of COVIDSafe App on smartphone. Note, it is illegal to make it mandatory.

4. The morning meeting point for passengers used for sign-in, toilet break and first pre-flight briefing.

●      Social distancing – abide by current guidelines  for groups, for people not from the same household.

●      Hand sanitiser and face masks will be available at the check in point

●      The checkin will be in an outdoor location.

●      The morning briefing by the pilot will include verbally going through the COVID-19 procedures.

●      Passengers are strongly encouraged to wear masks whilst they are in the company vehicle as social distancing cannot be maintained at 1.5 metres

5. Passengers collected from local accommodation

●      Hand sanitiser and masks will be available before boarding the company vehicle.

●      Passengers are strongly encouraged to wear masks whilst they are in the company vehicle as social distancing cannot be maintained at 1.5 metres

6. Passenger checks in, agrees to waiver etc.

●      Passengers  should have pre signed the online waiver or bring their own pen & sign an individual release form.

●      If  taking money on the day for the flight, this will be taken via “contactless means” (e.g.eftpos tap and go.)

7. The vehicle ride between the meeting point and the launch area and between the landing area and breakfast venue.

 ●      Hand sanitiser and masks will be made available before boarding the vehicle.

●      Passengers should be strongly encouraged to wear masks whilst they are in the vehicle as social distancing cannot be maintained at 1.5 metres. A record on the manifest will kept of people who did not wear a mask

●      Provide information to passengers upon confirmation of their balloon flight that they will be required to wear a mask.

●      We will try and limit the time that people are in vehicles to 15 minutes (maximum).  It is recommended not leave people in vehicles when stationary. We will  offer for them to come out of the vehicle for fresh air when the pilot and crew are conducting a pi-ball/weather check.  This is so passengers are not spending a long time in a confined space.

8. On the launch field during setup/inflation

●      Passengers should be reminded about social distancing, including distances from spectators or other balloons on a common launch field. The crew chief is responsible for this action.

●      Crew must only use their own gloves.  All crew gloves to be named with that crew member

9. In the hot air balloon basket

 Additional protections for passengers in the balloon basket where social distancing (1.5 metres) cannot be observed:

●      Family and friend groups to be placed in basket compartments together;

●      Passengers are always outwards facing except when it is time for “landing positions”, it is not possible to face outwards.  This is only for a small amount of time so this is considered a small risk;

●      Pilot & all passengers to be strongly encouraged to wear face masks;

●      Limiting the number of passengers

If people need assistance to get into and out of the basket, crew will be unable to assist (due to social distancing requirements) and a family member must be on hand to assist.

Whilst in the basket, passengers will be encouraged not to move around the basket.

Carriage of hand sanitiser in baskets

Current advice is that alcohol based hand sanitisers are the most effective against the virus .  Unfortunately most hand sanitiser products contain a high volume of alcohol, which is the reason for hand sanitiser fire hazard concerns.

Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are classified as Class I Flammable Liquid substances and should not be carried in a balloon basket.  Installing pump packs of alcohol based hand sanitiser in passenger compartments is not approved.

Screening of passengers for these items. This will be covered at checkin. 

The risk is obvious, any incident with fire in the basket could be greatly complicated by an uncontrolled fuel source such as hand sanitiser.

 

10.

 

Interaction with Landowners on launch and land

 

Public Relations

●      The relationship with landowners needs to be managed carefully.

●      BJF management are responsible for  advising local residents and landowners that hot air balloon operations will be starting soon and that Covid 19  safety plans have been implemented.

●      When interacting with Landowners, observe social distancing requirements. (e.g. 1.5 metres).

●      When locking and unlocking gates, you must wipe down the gate or ensure that the crew have gloves on.

11. Participation by passengers by in the balloon packup

●      Passengers that are involved in the packup will be reminded about social distancing, including distances from spectators and other balloons at common landing area

●      Use of sanitiser or wearing of disposable gloves if they are touching balloon fabric.

●      Passengers to continue to wear  masks

●      Only a few people and spread them all out (e.g. for putting the envelope back in the bag). 

A safe disposal facility for masks and disposable gloves, disposable wipes etc. will be provided on return to the breakfast facility

12. After the flight – breakfast

●      Onsite breakfast COVIDSafe requirements will be  managed by the venue within their own COVIDSafe plan for hospitality.

13. Cleaning of surfaces of vehicles  and balloons after balloon flight, ready for the next use

A Cleaning and sanitising record of vehicles and balloons will be kept on the daily Passenger manifest with a signature of who performed this task and the date

●      Cleaning and sanitising will be performed as per the BJF  cleaning schedule.

14. Ability to contact trace after flight Existing passenger manifest that contain contact details, phone email address.  Passengers encouraged to download COVIDSafe App on their Smartphone

Cleaning Schedules for BALLOON JOY FLIGHTS

Derived from guidance document:

Safe Work Australia Cleaning to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Commercial hot air balloon operators must implement control measures to eliminate or minimise the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of their staff, passengers, partners and suppliers they come into contact with.

The Australian Government Department of Health has published specific resources on COVID-19 for operators in the airline industries and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the respective health and safety regulators for the airline industries, have also published advise for operators.

The tables below outline the cleaning methods and frequencies required for the main areas within a commercial hot air ballooning operation that requires cleaning.

The following areas within Balloon Joy Flights operation require routine cleaning:

Vehicles, and balloon baskets.

For more information on the difference between cleaning and disinfecting and how to clean please refer to Safe Work Australia.

Vehicle Cleaning Program

Item
Method
Frequency / Comments

Vehicle Interior

Dispose of all rubbish

Rubbish bags and disposable gloves in all vehicles to dispose of all rubbish post flight.

 

Daily and multiple times during and after every hot air ballooning experience.

 

 

Dash / Doors /Vinyl Surfaces and Plastic Trim / Gear Shift / Driver Gauges / Steering Wheel / Rear View Mirror and Sun Visor

Clean with neutral detergent, warm water and clean cloth, disinfectant wipes and dry with disposable paper towels.

Avoid bleach except on simple plastics.

 

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

Seats and Seat Belts

Clean with neutral detergent, warm water and clean cloth, multi-purpose cleaner or steam clean and dry with disposable paper towels.

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

Floor  

Take out all floor mats, shaking them and giving them a good wipe down with neutral detergent, warm water and clean cloth, multi-purpose cleaner OR disinfectant wipes and dry with disposable paper towels.

Mop with detergent, warm water and clean utensils

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

Spare Jackets for Passengers.   Machine wash to manufacturers instructions. Take out of use immediately if worn or soiled and machine wash.
Windows and windshield interiors.

Roll down the windows and windshield interiors using microfiber cloth and window cleaner.

 

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

When cleaning vehicle’s interiors, keep these tips in mind:

  • Soap is always your best bet. It is harmful to coronavirus.
  • Avoid bleach except on simple plastics.
  • Don’t use solvents.
  • Hand sanitisers contain alcohol, which can dry out leather. Use leather conditioner to keep it healthy.
  • When in doubt, test cleaners on a surface that can’t be easily seen first.
  • Wipe off what you wipe on; don’t leave chemicals to linger.
  • Prioritise the surfaces you touch. Don’t forget buttons and switches, your rear-view mirror, even your petrol cap.

Source: AutoBlog

Vehicle Exterior

 

Rinse Vehicle

 

Hose or pressure wash to remove loose dirt.

Lift the windshield wipers and spray the cracks below each wiper.

Rinse the undersides of the wheel hub caps.

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

 

 

Clean Vehicle Including Door Handles and Petrol Cap

 

 

Clean with car cleaning liquid or use of mild dishwashing liquid in bucket of water for unwaxed finishes.

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

Clean Windows and Headlights

 

Use a product like Windex or solution of one part white vinegar to two parts water.

To avoid streaking on windows, allow them to dry for a few hours before you roll down the windows.

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

 

Clean Finish

 

Before water spots have a chance to ruin the finish, use a towel to dry the surface.

 

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

Balloon Basket Cleaning Program

Item
Method
Frequency / Comments

 

Cleaning soft porous like surfaces in and around the basket

 

Although detergent can be generally used to clean fabric surfaces it is not recommended for balloon upholstery and padding.

 

Instead if more thorough cleaning is needed, fabric surfaces may be steam cleaned.

Source: Safe Work Australia

 

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

 

 

Cleaning leather in and around the basket

Liquid hand or dish washing detergent interacts with the virus in a way that degrades it very quickly and destroys it.

Source: AutoBlog

Daily after every ballooning experience.

Basket interior and hard surfaces

Vacuum and clean with detergent and warm water.

Daily after every ballooning experience.

 

When cleaning balloon interiors, and frequently touched areas please keep in mind:

  • All solvents including alcohol, acetone, kerosene, bleach or chlorine solutions are not recommended on any Kavanagh Balloon products, should be avoided and not used on textiles or metals.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are classified as Class I Flammable Liquid substances and should not be carried in a balloon basket.  Installing pump packs of alcohol based hand sanitiser in passenger compartments is not approved
  • Screening of passengers for these items should be considered at this time where many people may be carrying it with them.
  • The risk is obvious, any incident with fire in the basket could be greatly complicated by an uncontrolled fuel source such as hand sanitiser.
  • Source: Sean Kavannagh Advice and Recommendation

 

Who can fly?
The minimum age is 5 years. Parents please be aware that smaller children may not be able to see over the edge of the basket. There is no maximum age limit. It is important that we know if you under medical supervision. Elderly folk are welcome. Due to the physical nature of hot air ballooning a moderate level of fitness is required. For safety reasons we are unable to carry the disabled, passengers who weigh more than 120 kg, or who are more than 12 weeks pregnant, without prior arrangement. As we normally fly below 2000 feet oxygen is not necessary
Where are you based?

Our home base is on our small farm 8 kilometers North of Canowindra. This is approximately four hours drive from Sydney and under three hours from Canberra. We conduct our flights around and over Canowindra in the central west of NSW between Orange and Cowra. Launch sites vary according to the wind direction on the day so as to make every flight a scenic and memorable experience. We also travel to festivals throughout Australia and have even travelled to farms throughout NSW to fly families over their own properties.

What time do we meet?
Our meeting times change relative to when the sun rises. We aim to meet roughly 30 minutes before sunrise so that we can have the balloon inflated for launch as the sun comes up. This gives you the most spectacular flight. In early January it might mean a 5am meeting time, whilst in mid June it might mean a 6:30am meeting time.
What do I wear?
Sturdy enclosed shoes, as feet can get wet and sometimes a bit muddy in the early morning dew. Jeans, jumper, beanie or hat and a jacket that you can remove as the morning warms up. Ladies no skirts or high heels please. It is not cold in the balloon – the coldest part of the morning is on the ground whilst we are inflating the balloon. Dont forget your sunglasses and camera
What is for breakfast?
The post flight breakfast is held at Delice Coffee Roasters and Cafe. We have a selection of fruit juice, fruit, bacon,eggs,sausages etc, fresh hot bread and espresso coffee or teas and of course our own Toms Waterhole bottle fermented sparkling. We can cater for all dietary requirements but you need to let us know when you book in.
What if I am afraid of heights?
Many people have said they are afraid of heights but in more than 35 years of commercial flying we have never had one person who had a problem with heights in the balloon. The takeoff is slow and gentle.Please advise your pilot before takeoff of any concerns you may have.
What if I miss my flight?
If you fail to turn up or are late and miss your flight you will lose your monies and forfeit your ticket
What Flight options are available?

All flight options listed below finish with a presentation flight certificate and a catered champagne breakfast with espresso coffee at Delice Coffee Roasters. Orange post flight breakfasts will be at Duntryleague. We also cater for non flying accompanying friends.

Sunrise Flights Sunrise Flights last for 50 minutes to 1 hour flying time depending on available landing sites. We recommend you allow at least three to four hours with us. This is the ultimate ballooning experience conducted by one of our resident commercial pilots who gives a full commentary on how the balloon works coupled with local knowledge. Ballooning is a magic experience.

Group Flights are offered for groups of 10 to 18  people BOOKING and FLYING TOGETHER. These flights are designed to give you a taste of ballooning and at a less expensive price and last for a minimum of 30 minutes flying time. This package is suitable for family reunions, sporting and social clubs, special interest groups and fundraising.

Special Occasion Flights We do weddings, marriage proposals, renewal of vows, committment ceremony, scattering of ashes, birthdays, product launches, field days, and Company promotions. Contact us with your own unique idea.

Gift Certificates Give a special gift to someone special in your life. Certificates are valid for 3 years from the date of purchase. These are transferable but not refundable. To purchase a Gift Voucher please either phone Jan on 0428441819 or fill out the Contact Us form.

What are our terms and conditions?

Cancellation By Passenger If you cancel a confirmed booking more than 48 hours before your flight, your booking fee will be deducted from your refund. Your flight ticket becomes fully non-refundable: (a) if you cancel less than 48 hours before your flight; or (b) if you fail to show up for your flight (this includes sleeping in and getting lost)

Cancellation By Balloon Joy Flights If your flight is cancelled by us for any reason (safety or otherwise), you may rebook on another day to suit or receive a refund less your booking fee.

Conditions of Use Children are defined as over 5 years and under 12 years of age and 45 kgs or less in weight. We do not carry passengers over 125 kgs in weight without special arrangements. We do not advise pregnant ladies to fly. All passengers MUST phone for a weather check before 11am the day before the flight. We will cancel if there is an adverse weather forecast which may affect passengers safety and reschedule your flight to another date that suits you. For safe loading of the balloon all passengers are required to tell us their name, weight and contact details. This is also a CASA requirement. Please provide these details in the booking form.  In accordance with Civil Aviation requirements all balloons have a minimum and maximum liftoff weight.. If there are insufficient passengers to meet this requirement for a flight, we will contact you to reschedule you to another date suitable to you.

How safe is ballooning?
Hot air ballooning remains the safest means for mankind to reach into the skies and become one with the wind. Your only concern should be, how much fun are you going to have. All commercial balloon flights in Australia are under the control of Civil Aviation regulations and Australian aviation has one of the highest safety records in the world.
How many people does the balloon hold?
Balloon Joy Flights have 3 balloons which can fly between 2 -10 persons in the basket.The small one is for Exclusive and Romantic flights. The larger balloons can do up to 2 legs/ flights of 50 minutes each, so a maximum of 36 passengers on any morning if 2 balloons are flying.
How long will my flight last?
Our most popular flights are scheduled to last 50-60 minutes. The exact length depends on the availability & suitability of landing sites. Several other options are available. Please refer to our prices page.
How do I pay for my flight?
The easiest and most secure way to book your flight is by using our online booking form. But otherwise just give us a call on 0263441819
Do you have accommodation packages available?
Yes, we offer accommodation packages in Canowindra and there are some great places to stay. Please contact us so we can best fulfil your needs and budget. Check the links to see what is available.
Can you accommodate corporate groups?

Balloon Joy Flights can cater for Corporate groups up to 36 people. Setting-up and packing-up a hot air balloon provides a great team building activity and the flight itself is a great incentive. Please contact our bookings office for information and quote on 02 63441819. We can assist you with organising accommodation, local tours such as Blind Freddy’s Bushranger Tours, the Age of Fishes Museum and local wine tasting.

Can the balloon fly in any weather conditions?
No. Hot air ballooning is a fair weather activity.We want you to have fun so if conditions are not suitable we do not fly. Strong wind, rain & fog are some of the things that keep us grounded. PLEASE NOTE: we understand that it is disappointing to have a flight cancelled but the decision is made with your safety and enjoyment in mind. Please be understanding when this situation occurs – we never want to cancel a flight, it is mother nature who makes that decision for us!
Can I bring my friends?

We encourage your non flying friends to come along on the “chase” and join in the post flight celebrations.They may be required to follow in their own vehicle.If they wish to join you for breakfast a $25 charge applies for our gourmet champagne breakfasts. For catering purposes all extra breakfasts must be pre booked by you when you confirm your flight. There is no charge for friends following the balloon in their own vehicle who do not wish to have breakfast.

Can I purchase a gift certificate and how long is it valid for?
Yes, we do sell gift certificates that are valid for 3 years. The gift certificates are open dated, meaning the recipient can book a flight at their convenience. Our gift certificates are transferable, but not refundable.

If you would like to purchase a gift certificate for someone please get in touch with us, you could use our contact form

Are discounts available for groups?
Yes, we offer group discounts. Please CONTACT US or phone on 0428441819

ANY MORE QUESTIONS?

Fill in the form belor OR please don’t hesitate to call us on:
02 6344 1819  or 0428 441 819 or email [email protected]

Get In Touch

Have a question about our balloon flights?  Are you trying to book and are having problems? ... please fill out this simple form for a quick response

If you would prefer to give us a call to discuss booking your flight, please don't hesitate to call us on:
02 6344 1819  or 0428 441 819 or email [email protected]

We look forward to talking to you.

ONLINE ENQUIRY FORM

Flying hot air balloons for over 35 years and supporting the Canowindra International Balloon Festival!


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