- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Hundreds of hot air balloon pilots and their chase crews have gathered in Albuquerque for an annual fiesta that has become internationally known.

Starting Saturday, the colorful balloons - everything from traditional globes to complex special shapes - will take to the skies every morning for the next nine days

This year, pilots will have a new tool to help them navigate the skies over Albuquerque.

Organizers are equipping all 550 pilots with tablet computers capable of running a mapping application that will enable them to steer clear of the many restricted areas or prohibited zones like airport flight paths, the zoo and other locations.

The city has grown exponentially since the first fiesta more than 40 years ago, and pilots say landing spots now come at a premium.

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