Useful information

Acces & parking

  • Beware of the risk of crowds on the access roads. Many of you love balloons. Don’t arrive at the last moment.
  • Approaching the pitch: tune into 98.2 FM « Good Morning Chambley », the official radio station for the event.


  • For reasons of safety and compliance with regulations, it is forbidden to enter the flight area.
  • Please keep dogs on a leash.
  • Do not leave children unattended.
  • Camping and barbecue are prohibited in the parkings.

On the spot

  • Once you arrive, do not stay in the car parks: go to the event area.
  • Air baptisms are regulated by law. Only the organizations authorized on the site are covered by special insurance.
  • Do not forget your camera. For nightlife, consider equipping yourself with an electric light.
  • Entrance and parking are offered by the Grand Est Region, take advantage of the various activities on the site.
  • You are in the Regional Natural Park of Lorraine. More than ever, thank you for respecting nature. Do not throw your trash on the ground.


  • The event was conceived by Philippe Buron Pilâtre. The association « Les Portes du Ciel » manages the event and the company « Pilâtre de Rozier SIGA » is in charge of marketing, coordination and communication. The event is financed by more than 200 partners, including the Grand Est Region, which notably enable visitors to enjoy free admission and parking.

  • Because it’s the law. By interministerial order in France (as in Europe for that matter), the public is not allowed on the take-off area during aerial events and must be separated by barriers.
    This is not the case in the United States where the public can walk between the balloons.

  • Hot-air balloons can only fly in a stable atmosphere with winds below 10 knots (18 km/h) and at events such as GEMAB with winds below 5 knots. This is impossible in the middle of the day in summer. On the other hand, in winter, the atmosphere is more stable and you can fly during the day.

  • A flight lasts for about one hour. But the passenger is involved in the preparation of the flight and the repacking after the flight. A balloon does only very rarely fly back to its point of departure. A vehicle follows it on the ground to pick up the pilot, passengers and the balloon after landing.

  • Hot-air ballooning is rather reserved for big kids 😉
    Indeed, ballooning is a real sport activity but also contemplative for the happy passengers.
    A child who is too young or not mature will quickly get bored and won’t  enjoy this nice experience at its true value.
    We do not accept children under 6 years old and less than 1m20 tall. For obvious safety reasons, it is impossible to hold children in your arms to allow them to enjoy the landscape.
    And any child under 12 years of age must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

  • There are baskets enabling passengers with physical mobility impairments to experience the joy of a hot air balloon flight. In all cases the opinion of the attending physician is required. The experience is not recommended  in case of mental disability. During #GEMAB, we ensure that the festival is accessible to all visitors with access and parking reserved for PRMs, as well as adapted sanitary facilities and a priority viewing area with awareness signage for all.
    We host one or two balloons with easy access baskets, but the few seats in these gondolas are reserved for the Department of Meurthe et Moselle.

  • Ballooning is an extraordinary discipline. We make few flights per year, buying a hot-air balloon is expensive (average of 50.000 €uros), you also need a vehicle to haul the balloon and drive the passengers back after the flight. Not forgetting insurance, compulsory inspections, repairs and propane, but also training. However equally valuable, a balloon ride lasts about one hour and gives you unforgettable sensations: the price of the exceptional.

  • Meteorology is not an exact science. It can rain in Metz and Nancy and be sunny at Chambley aerodrome. We have to take into account local observations in the ballooning area, but also regional and national weather reports to anticipate developments. Sometimes an hour before, we don’t know if the winds are going to drop, if the rain is not going to come.

  • A hot-air balloon floats at the speed of the wind, in the direction of the wind. To change direction, the pilot must find a different wind at a different altitude. The pilot has the sole control of the verticality. He balances the heating of the air inside his balloon envelope to go up and down.

  • They are both called balloons.
    A gas balloon is a free sealed balloon inflated with helium or hydrogen. The pilot takes ballast (water or sand) on board and dumps it regularly to gain altitude. To land, the pilot opens the valve. A gas balloon flight can last up to 90 hours.
    A hot-air balloon is filled with cold air which is warmed up with a burner connected to propane tanks. To go up the pilot has to heat and to go down, to stop heating. A hot-air balloon flight usually lasts « only » one hour.

  • Achieving a pilot’s licence requires to comply with an aeronautical medical examination and to follow theoretical and practical courses with an instructor. You must be at least 16 years old and there is no maximum age (as long as you are fit to fly). It takes about a year to learn (assimilate all the knowledge and experience the four seasons aerology). Average budget is between 6,000 and 8,000 €uros.

  • By order of the prefect, due to the concentration of balloons, there can be no other aircraft than hot-air balloons during the evolutions of the latter. When hot-air balloons are not flying, the aerodrome regains its activity and other flying machines are welcomed.

  • Yes of course, but to enter TRA #GEMAB, pilots must first send a request by e-mail specifying origin, persons on board, date and estimated time of arrival and departure and also aircraft type and registration. And on arrival pilots will have to fill the Entry Form and sign it.

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