Announcing Burner Express Air: Burner-Owned-and-Operated Air Transport to Black Rock City

Today we’re launching Burner Express Air. The intention of this program is to lower the cost of flying to the event, make it simpler to book a flight, and support our ongoing efforts to promote alternative transportation and reduce traffic congestion on Highway 447.

Participants have been flying to Burning Man nearly as long as the event has been held in the Black Rock Desert, and over the years a thriving community of Burning Man participants who also happen to be aviation enthusiasts has grown up around That Thing in the Desert. We’ve come a long way since Burning Man founder Will Roger helped build the first runway on the Hualapai Flat in 1997. Last year, more than 2,300 participants flew in to 88NV (the official FAA designation for BRC Municipal Airport), and more than 200 volunteers helped to build and operate the airport.

Burning Man has selected Advantage Flight Solutions of Reno, NV, to manage air charter carriers and arrange air transportation to and from Black Rock City Airport in 2016. Participants interested in flying to the event can begin booking flights today at burnerexpress.org.

Burner-owned-and-operated Advantage Flight has a long history of working with and for Burners. The company has provided charter flights to BRC since 2005 and flew over 1,500 event participants in 2015 — they’ve got some serious desert aviation chops. This year Advantage will coordinate charter flights for a number of FAA-certified air carriers serving Black Rock City, offering flights to and from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Reno, Southern California, and the Western United States from Wednesday, August 24 through Tuesday, September 6.

Much like regular airlines, flight costs will vary depending on routes, when they’re purchased and whether they’re one way or round trip (among other factors). Burner Express Air round trips from Reno/Tahoe to BRC start at $495 and from Oakland to BRC from $995. Current prices are available via the Burner Express Air website.

That may sound like a lot, and you’d be right. But it’s actually less than what many people have paid in recent past years, when the charters were not coordinated through a single service provider. By streamlining the process we’ve been able to cut the cost to each individual participant. And while it’s a given that flying is more expensive than driving for nearby Burners, for those traveling long distances or flying in from outside the region, the cost of renting a car for a week (~$500), gas (~$40) and cleaning fee (~$100 to $250 or more) adds up and flying in becomes a viable option.

This change will not affect the “General Aviation” Burners who have been flying their own planes into the event for years. This new program is only for chartered planes making multiple trips to Black Rock City

We’re super grateful to the 7,000 riders who took Burner Express Bus service last year (sincerely!) and in our ongoing quest to reduce traffic to and from BRC, we’re working to make Burner Express Air another viable alternative to driving to the event. In addition to making air travel accessible to more participants, the program will help optimize operations and maintain the excellent safety record at Black Rock City Municipal Airport.

You can learn more about the Burner Express Air program at burnerexpress.org. If you have questions about any aspect of this program, check out the extensive FAQ.

Check out this video to learn more about 88NV, one of the most unique airports in the country!

If you’d like to volunteer at the airport at this year’s event, start by going here.

About the author: Burning Man

Burning Man

The official voice of the Burning Man organization, managed by Burning Man's Communications Team.

14 Comments on “Announcing Burner Express Air: Burner-Owned-and-Operated Air Transport to Black Rock City

  • JIM RHOADES says:

    YES! I AM VOLUNTEERING FOR AIRPORT DUTY THIS YEAR.
    QUALIFICATIONS: 28,000 FLIGHT HOURS. AG PILOT, ALASKA BUSH PILOT, AEROBATIC INSTRUCTOR. GROUND & FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR. AIRLINE PILOT FOR 35 YEARS. A & P MECHANIC. HAVE MY OWN AIRSTRIP ON MY RANCH. AM I QUALIFIED? U ‘BETCHA!

    YOU’VE GOTTA ADD ME TO YOUR STAFF! ANSWER SOON !

    “MY REQUIREMENTS”:
    1- 2 BRM TICKETS
    2- 2 VEHICLE PASSES

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    • Bart says:

      The second principle is Gifting, not Demanding…

      “Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.”

      As a volunteer you gift your time and effort and will be more than likely gifted back appreciation, love, hugs, and *just maybe* something of monetary value.

      If the latter is a prerequisite for volunteering then you’re doing it wrong…

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  • Snarkypants says:

    First rule of volunteering:
    Volunteers don’t have requirements.

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  • Andy says:

    I don’t have any objections to people arriving by air, but I think it’s unreasonable to assume that this will lessen traffic on 447.

    The luggage limits imposed by the air carriers are so small – typically about 25 pounds per person – that almost everyone arriving by air has ground support coming in by car or truck. If it’s a car, it’s probably a car with room for one less passenger because all that gear and food has to go somewhere.

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    • G says:

      That was my first thought too. 70K people coming up 447?
      Loaded 747’s might make a tiny dent in traffic volume.

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    • Some Guy says:

      For people who are part of a mid-sized or large camp this could still reduce traffic. A lot of my stuff has often been transported to the playa in the “camp truck” or something similar. So, if I were to have taken a plane one of those years it really would have meant one less car on hwy 447 transporting my body.

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  • coolkat says:

    my hydroplane is full of eels can they come by air instead of sea?

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  • anon says:

    According to their website, this company (http://americanmedflight.com/SaveAirApplication.aspx) is the only contracted Air Ambulance provider based on the playa. Is this still true for 2016?

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  • FAA POI says:

    Burner Express is illegal. They do not have DOT Economic Authority approval. Consumers beware.

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    • Twilight says:

      After months of working together with the FAA, BLM, and the US Department of Transportation to insure compliance with all applicable regulations, Burner Express Air is legal. All of the authorized FAA Part 135 air carriers working as part of the Burner Express Air program have economic authority to serve our community.

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  • markable.in says:

    Presently pushing the water plus trying various treatments, organic lemon juice, organic apple cider
    vinegar & olive oil.

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  • Eiman Rashidian says:

    Hi I’m interested in taking Burner Express Air and as I understand, included in the $60 passenger service fee is passage to and from BRC airport on a shuttle. I wanted to know where this shuttle will drop me off, is it at the BRC entry gate, or will the shuttle make stops at designated areas like the BxB shuttle so I can get closer to my camp. Basically I want to know how I can get from BRC airport to my camp.

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  • Jasmine Robinson says:

    Hi there – What about transport to camps from the BRC Airport? Should each camp make arrangements or is there any other suggestion you could provide?

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  • SPP says:

    Super excited to be part of this – just made a last minute decision to pop in for my second year in a rown for a quick thurs-sunday Burn and Burner Air has made that crazy trip (Coming from Europe) possible!! Really hope I make all my connections…see you in the dust you beautiful creatures <3

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