The Hangar Checklist – 10 Things To Remember When Building
There are a lot of reasons to build an aircraft hangar, but the most important factor is obvious; for the love of it. You’ve already dedicated time and money to aviation as a hobby or even a small business. It matters to you. Building a hangar is going to feel great. It will be one of the most rewarding things you can do.
The list of benefits is long:
- Avoid weathering (paint condition, motor condition)
- Avoid sun damage to interior.
- Protect against damage by others.
- Perform your preflights indoors
- Keep your equipment in a safe, accessible place.
- Make the space your own.
But it really comes down to that feeling of owning your own space for your own aircraft – it’s the dream you’ve had since you were a kid.
If you’ve decided to build a hangar, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you do:
- Understand your relationship to the airport.
This is a slightly more complex question than it seems. You’ll need to know what the payment structure is (do you lease the land, or give up ownership of the building and rent it back?). You’ll need to know how long your contract with the airport will last and how likely conditions are to change. You should also consider what services, if any, the airport offers.
Find a current hangar owner and talk to them. A lot of them will have been there a long time and will have valuable advice.
- Do your builders have experience with aviation buildings?
You can get a cheap shed thrown together, but everything aviation-related needs to be exact. Find a company that will build the hangar to your specifications & your needs. Make sure they’ve build hangars before. If possible, visit their previous builds.
- Will the build be well organised?
Make sure that the company you build with has their own installers or consistently works with installers they know. The less friction there is between engineers, designers & installers, the less likely you are to have problems.
- What kind of door do you need?
Access is something you’ll need to consider, especially if you’re planning on storing more than one airplane.
Your door design needs to maximise accessibility. If you’re lucky enough to have access to the back of your hangar, it’s a great idea to have two doors so you can get planes in and out from either end.
- What strength is required?
A lot of airports and councils have very strict regulations on these kinds of things. If you have an experienced engineering/building company to work with, they will be able to sort this all out for you, especially if they’ve done it before.
- Do you want Australian steel?
Australian steel is a better quality than international steel and is less likely to be problematic down the line. If it’s in your budget, Australian-steel is a great idea.
- Have you planned for lighting?
A good rule of thumb for lighting is to draw out a rough plan, then double it. You can never have too much, and the size of hangars often requires a deceptively large amount of lighting.
Where you can, install skylights to make use of natural light. You’ll also need to consider how you’re going to access lights when they need to be replaced (hangar ceilings aren’t easy to reach).
- What concrete are you putting on the floor?
Make sure your concrete doesn’t have a shiny-finish or poly coat. It’s much more effective to install a concrete that has some grip. This will help you get your planes in and out.
- Are you going to rent out positions in your hangar?
Air hangars usually have relatively stable prices, but they won’t get you a big return unless hangar space is limited. One of the best ways to capitalise right from the start is to offer some of your hangar space for rent. This money will subsidise some of the rates the airport is likely to charge you.
- Are you going to be operating a business?
Another great way to get some of your expenditure back is to offer flight lessons or run some kind of small aviation business. If this is something you have the license and inclination for, you’ll need to make sure that your hangar can hold everything you’ll need.
To download a brochure of our past hangars and aviation buildings, click here.