Pilot FAQ

88NV Pilot FAQ

Is is ok to drop off passengers?

You must escort your passengers through the Box Office until their tickets have been validated and they have officially entered. Please let your passengers know there is a $60 (Cash, Visa, MasterCard) Airport Gate Use Fee for new arrivals paid at the Airport Box Office when their tickets are processed. If your passengers do not have a valid ticket to the Event you are responsible for immediately flying them out of the Event.  If the pilot does not have a ticket to the Event, they may be asked to speak with the Airport Operations Manager or Air Operations Manager to ascertain if additional BLM or FAA requirements apply. The pilot may receive a Trespass warning from law enforcement and be allowed to make only one more landing solely to pick up the passengers dropped off.

Is there ticketing Will-Call at the Airport?  

Yes, the Will-Call system at the Box Office at the Airport gate is exactly  the same one that exists as the Main Gate. Will-Call and ticket transfers work here.

Why do I have to pay an Airport Gate Use Fee?

Preparation occurs year-round, including work weekends to bring our Airport Village to life. The Airport expenses are significant and funded only with the Airport Gate Use Fee. No Charter fees are used. Airport expenses have increased dramatically over the last few years due to increased traffic and new safety requirements. Expenses include preparing and maintaining the runways with heavy equipment, additional porta potties and their maintenance, and other rentals such as org and aviation radios..

What should I wear when I arrive?

Be advised that landings are “clothing optional….”

Is it true that skydivers are allowed in for free?

No. This is the same as fence-jumping except that you will have also have made an unauthorized skydive. When you land, you will be charged with trespassing and evicted from the event.

Do I need a vehicle pass for my aircraft?

No, vehicle Passes are for ground vehicles entering through the Main Gate and are intended to reduce traffic on the public roads. You are already reducing road traffic by flying to the event.

Do my passengers need In/Out passes?

“In/Out Passes” are sold at the Main Gate for burners that need to exit and re-enter through that gate.  Air passengers and pilots enter and exit typically through the Airport Gate.  The first entry requires the payment of the Airport Gate Use Fee.  Afterwards, exit and re-entry through the Airport Gate is free.  The re-entry wristbands issued at the Airport Gate are not valid at the Main Gate.  If burners wish to exit the Airport Gate and re-enter through the Main Gate, special arrangements must be made with the Airport Prime Minister prior to exit.

Is it “legal” to land on the playa?

It is “legal” according to the BLM and FAA to land and/or camp anytime on the playa or Black Rock Desert unless there is a published closure or restriction period for a special event or you are entering tribal grounds. Large groups require permits from the BLM.  Landings are prohibited outside the 88NV airport when the BLM publishes a Closure Order  in the Federal Register for the Burning Man Event.

Renting a Plane: If the rules prohibit “off-airport landings“, Black Rock City Municipal Airport, 88NV, is a recognized airport with paperwork on-file with the Federal Aviation Administration. If your club or FBO “prohibits landing on dirt strips”, try to get a one-time waiver. Sorry, we can’t provide a paved runway.

Insurance: Read your insurance policy to discover if dirt strip landings are prohibited.

Is it safe to land my Beechnat-Pipermmanx-Super-Duper-High-Flyer on the playa?

Some pilots recommend that you remove your “pants” … the wheel covers.  Usually the playa surface is suitable for anything from a tiny-wheeled VariEze to tail-draggers with tundra tires to brand new turbo-charged Mooneys to C-130s. Some years the surface is firm and perfectly smooth, and some years it’s soft and dusty.  The runways are closed after rain due to excessive caking of mud on the tires. The Airport tests, waters, and rolls the runways every day in order to make them as safe as possible.

Are tie-downs available?

No, you must bring your own stakes and rope and you must remove them and take them with you at the end. We can loan you a sledge hammer for installing rebar stakes, and a pair of vice grips for removing stakes. See the Airport Life Tab for more suggestions 

Is the tie-down area secure?

The area is as safe as the typical municipal airport . . . except for the sand serpents and dust devils! The tie-down area is not “guarded” per se. It is accessible via the airport gate which is monitored by Gate, Perimeter and Exodus (GPE) staff. Some persons outside the event (law enforcement, Gate, and Perimeter staff) also have access to and monitor the ramp. Pilots will also be camping with their planes.

Can I camp with my plane?

Yes, many pilots camp with their plane in the tie-down area. If you wish to do so, let us know when you land and an appropriate space on the GA ramp will be assigned at check in.

Alternatively you may also wish to camp inside the fence at Point 5. The airport is a big busy place so to ensure sanity and room for everyone, contact us ASAP to pre-arrange a campsite at 88NV. Of course, plenty of folks camp in Black Rock City with friends who drove in, too. It’s not as far as it looks!