The history of Saga International Balloon Fiesta

The position of Saga International Balloon Fiesta in other domestic and overseas competitions


World Championship, World Air Games, European Hot Air Balloon Championship, and so on are authorized competitions by FAI (The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, - The World Air Sports Federation), and they are held according to FAI rules in countries all over the world once every year. FAI designates those championships as the 'Category 1' competition. They sometimes authenticate other championships as 'Category 1', too.
Saga International Balloon Fiesta had been authorized as 'Category 1' competitions by FAI every year. However, after the opening of Saga Airport in 1998, it was held without their official approval. We aimed to explore the possibility of the international competition in the limited area then. In 2001, it was held as FAI official competition after several years. And again, it has been carried out without FAI authorization.
Since 1980, Saga International Balloon Fiesta has been held with the games as the main purpose. After 1989 World Championship in Saga, it has been carried out the same quality and volume as other world championships. These efforts are estimated internationally, so that each time champions and top-ranking balloonists from all over the world participate every year.
In Japan, there are about 20 competitions, in which 20 to 40 hot-air-balloons entry, every year. The Pacific Cup, the main title of Saga International Balloon Fiesta, has been held with about 85 hot-air-balloons, and about 50 are Japanese pilots among them.
Saga International Balloon Fiesta attracts world's attention because of the largest sky sports event in Asia, even in numbers of entrants, and also the contents of administrations for games and events rate as the world-class level.

The History of Saga International Balloon Fiesta


The beginning of our history was a small balloon meeting 'Balloon Fiesta in Kyushu" held in Amagi City, Fukuoka, in 1978. Since 1980, it has been moved to Saga Plain and holding competitions.

Transitions of 'Saga International Balloon Fiesta'

TimeYearBalloonsTasks Audience
1978 5 balloons No Game Flight Balloon Fiesta in Kyushu
(at Amagi City, Fukuoka)
1979 8 balloons 2 tasks Balloon Fiesta in Kyushu
(at Amagi City, Fukuoka)
1st 1980 14 balloons 2 tasks 30,000 Balloon Fiesta in Kyushu
2nd 1981 18 balloons 4 tasks 50,000 Balloon Fiesta in Saga
3rd 1982 24 balloons 80,000 Balloon Fiesta in Saga
4th 1983 34 balloons 8 tasks 100,000 Balloon Fiesta in Saga
5th 1984 49 balloons 7 tasks 120,000
6th 1985 50 balloons 8 tasks 150,000
7th 1986 83 balloons 8 tasks 200,000
8th 1987 76 balloons 8 tasks 250,000
9th 1988 92 balloons 11 tasks 350,000
10th 1989 132 balloons 18 tasks
in
World Championship
10 tasks (Fiesta)
1,170,000 9th FAI World Hot Air Baloon Championship
11th 1990 85 balloons 12 tasks 800,000
12th 1991 110 balloons 14 tasks 890,000
13th 1992 136 balloons
19 countries
11 tasks 880,000
14th 1993 136 balloons
17 countries
13 tasks 630,000
15th 1994 119 balloons
16 coutries
17 tasks 980,000
16th 1995 121 balloons
16 countries
10 tasks 810,000
17th 1996 128 balloons
17 countries
10 tasks 880,000
18th 1997 170 balloons
38 countries
21 tasks 1071,000 13th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship
19th 1998 128 balloons
17 countries
10 tasks 720,000
20th 1999 123 balloons
17 countries
10 tasks 681,000
21st 2000 110 balloons
13 countries
10 tasks 76,5000
22nd 2001 120 balloons
18 countries
11 tasks 718,000
23rd 2002 110 balloons
14 countries
10 tasks 595,000
24th 2003 112 balloons
15 countries
11 tasks 894,000
25th 2004 116 balloons
14 countries
13 tasks 997,000
26th 2005 113 balloons
14 countries
10 tasks 798,000
27th 2006 114 balloons
14 countries
16 tasks 877,000
28th 2007 110 balloons
13 countries
14 tasks 787,000
29th 2008 103 balloons
14 countries
11 tasks 943,000
30th 2009 112 balloons
15 countries
10 tasks 864,000
31st 2010 106 balloons
14 countries
15 tasks 921,000
32nd 2011 98 balloons
14 countries
11 tasks 640,000
33rd 2012< 100 balloons
15 countries
14 tasks 803,000
34th 2013 101 balloons
14 countries
13 tasks 814,000
35th 2014 113 balloons
16 countries
15 tasks 850,000
36th 2015 127 balloons
20 countries
19 tasks 925,000
37th 2016 186 balloons
33 countries
31 tasks
in
World Championship
7 tasks
in Honda GP
1,310,000 22nd FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship
38th 2017

Japanese site

Last Modified: 2017.08.02