In February Burning Man issued a Request for Proposals to gauge air carrier interest in using larger aircraft to fly participants to and from Black Rock City beginning in 2016. We committed to reviewing proposals and making a decision on whether to move forward with this idea by April 4. We received a number of proposals, but the review process has taken a little longer than expected. We expect to make a decision on air carrier service to BRC by April 20 and will have more information for you then. Apologies for the delay.
Since Burning Man is still reviewing proposals for air charter services, we recommend waiting until after April 20 before making flight arrangements.
Burning Man is soliciting proposals from air carrier service providers to determine whether a more efficient service can reduce the cost of flying into Black Rock City and increase the number of participants who do so.
Participants have been flying private aircraft into the event since 1998, and BRC’s airport, 88NV, began operating in 1999. More than 2,200 participants flew into the event in 2015.
Several companies provide air carrier service to the event now. One goal of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process is to explore whether carriers can use larger capacity aircraft (up to 30 passengers) and reduce the per-person cost of flying.
Burning Man is accepting proposals now through February 29, 2016. Our goal is that approved carrier service providers will be selected by March 28, 2016 and contracts awarded by April 25, 2016. We would like to make this award to a very few, or even one, “umbrella” provider. If a single carrier service provider cannot meet the desired qualifications, then they have the option to collaborate on a proposal with others.
If no suggested plans are deemed suitable, BRC will not change the existing charter structure in 2016. BRC recommends Black Rock City participants refrain from purchasing Airplane Charter tickets until BRC grants approval and/or makes final announcement on charter service structure(s) on April 4, 2016.
Interested in filling out the actual RFP? email firstname.lastname@example.org
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Why is Burning Man doing this?
A. Burning Man is taking a comprehensive look at all methods of transportation that bring participants to Black Rock City. Our goal with this RFP is to assess feasibility for improving the efficiency of airport operations, to drive down the cost of flying to the event, make flying a more attractive option for participants, and improve safety by reducing the number of aircraft flying in and out of Black Rock City.
Q. What’s expected of carriers submitting proposals?
A. All aircraft and pilots must fly under an FAA Part 135 certificate, must have at least $5 million in insurance, and must offer flights between Reno and the Black Rock City Municipal Airport (88NV).
Q. What are some of the qualifications Burning Man is looking for?
A. The following:
- The capacity to transport 1,000 passengers per day with no more than 200 landings in an 11.5 hour period daily beginning in 2016 for all providers together.
- The ability to offer departures from Reno, San Francisco and Los Angeles with room for expansion from other locations if demand occurs.
- Experience with and proposals for ticket and scheduling systems.
Q. What are some of criteria will be used to evaluate the RFPs?
A. The following:
- Ratio of number of passengers possible to carry to the event per number of landings to do so.
- Price per coach passenger, tiers of service, and a number of affordably-priced seats.
- The ability to offer flights from Reno, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area with a particular focus on capacity from the Bay Area.
- Strong professional flying record.
Q. Will I still be able to fly my private plane into the event either by myself or with other passengers?
Q. Can I still get some friends together and charter my own plane?
A. Yes. As long as it’s a one time only charter taxi and not a shuttle service.
Q. What is the incentive for carriers to compete to become an approved Burning Man charter service?
A. Burning Man will work with selected charter services to promote them to the Burner community much the same way it has with the Burner Express bus service. Only carrier service providers awarded this contract will be allowed to shuttle service participants to and from the event.
Q. Will existing charter services be allowed to continue offering flights to Black Rock City if they are not selected as part of the RFP process?
A. Existing charter services are invited to submit proposals as part of this RFP process. If charter services are not selected, they will be encouraged to work with and/or under the charter service company(ies) selected.