July 13, 2016
For Immediate Release
GUTHRIE – Every day, the sun rises over Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport in Guthrie, Oklahoma with a favorable nod as silver wings catch the rays of light during abundant departures and arrivals. Lining the runways and just beyond the taxi lanes are 88 airport hangars that are brimming with corporate jets and general aviation single and twin engine propeller planes. The airport maintains 63 T-hangars and 25 large span hangars that house their fixed base operators, corporate, maintenance/avionics/refurbishment and aircraft sales businesses. Around the state, this same narrative is repeated one-hundred fold.
Hangars at the state’s 110 publicly owned airports are an important resource for local airports and are highly desired and sought after by airport managers and users of the system. Currently there are thousands of airport hangars in the state and more are being built every year as general and business aviation increases in viability.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants airport sponsors and their users to know and understand that airport sponsors that have accepted federal grants (federally obligated) are required to avail their airports to public use, and are prohibited from allowing airport property, including aircraft hangars, to be used for non-aeronautical functions without previous FAA approval.
Regarding the non-aeronautical use of airport hangars, a notice of the final policy was released June 15. The Final Policy, with a stated purpose to “provide a clear and standardized guide for airport sponsors and FAA compliance staff,” amends a July 2014 proposed policy statement that the FAA published regarding prohibited and permitted use of airport hangars.
“Airport operators, city managers, and airport managers need to understand the significance of the Final Policy handed down by FAA. These hangars are, largely, on airports that are federally obligated. Consequently, airport sponsors must assume that hangar use complies with this policy,” said director Vic Bird, with the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). He continued, “They were constructed for based aircraft and airport business, and need to be used for that purpose.”
The Final Policy sets forth the standard for permissible non-aeronautical uses of airport hangars as any use that does not interfere with aeronautical activities, and, specifically, use that doesn’t impede the movement of aircraft or access, or displaces aeronautical contents of a hangar.
“Our airport hangars at Guthrie-Edmond are critical to accomplishing our first mission of serving users of our airport. When we think about airport hangars, the non-aviation minded person may think they are more or less barns used to house airplanes. They are so much more than that,” said Schellon Stanley, director of Guthrie Edmond Regional Airport. “Hangars have code and fire sprinkler requirements, construction and allowable area provisions, and exterior wall fire-separation requirements. These are not just outbuildings,” Stanley concluded.
According to federal regulation, non-aeronautical use of hangars are banned without FAA permission, as are storage of items that are in violation of airport rules, lease provisions, local ordinances, or building codes. Because non-aeronautical use of hangars may occasionally be appropriate, the Final Policy allows airport managers to obtain prior consent from the sponsor’s local FAA Office of Airports for month-to-month non-aeronautical leases when there is no aeronautical demand for hangars.
“We want the users of the airports in the state system to understand that hangars first and foremost must be used for aeronautical purposes,” said Bird.
More information can be found at http://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_compliance/.
Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission
by Sandra Shelton, Director of Communications & Government Affairs
Phone: (405) 604-6900
110 N Robinson, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73102