10 things to remember when building an aviation hangar
Every pilot and aviation enthusiast has their reasons for wanting to build an aircraft hangar, but one thing in common is that this investment if built right will significantly enhance your lifestyle as an aviator.
The main benefits of having a private hangar are:
- 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 that many flying enthusiasts have had since childhood. When you undergo the process of constructing your hangar there are a number of things that you should explore to ensure a successful build.
Understand your relationship with 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 at the airport and chat with them about their experience. Those that have owned a hangar at the airport for a long time are bound to have valuable advice.
Do your builders have experience with aviation buildings?
There are a lot of companies out there offering a cheap hangar solution which are low quality structures thrown together without thought and precision. Attention to detail is a common trait in aviators, and we recommend you find a company that will design your hangar according to your needs, offering a high quality structure and experience in aviation construction.
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 better the communication and connection between engineers, designers and installers, the less likely you are to have problems throughout the building process.
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 aircraft in and out from either end.
What strength is required?
A lot of airports and councils have very strict regulations on the strength and capability of hangars. If you have an experienced engineering/building company to work with, they will be able to handle all aspects of the design to ensure they are compatible with Australian Standards. Central Aviation works closely with our engineers to ensure every build is value-engineered precisely.
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 light, and the size of hangars often requires a deceptively large amount of lighting.
You can consider installing 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 accommodate for it as well.