Be a Courteous Guest at the Airport

It’s important to respect the facility rules because they’re written for a reason.

One of the first lessons we should learn as children is how to behave when we are guests. Being a guest in someone’s home is a privilege. You need to respect the rules—don’t tease the dog, don’t put your feet on the furniture, and don’t park in the driveway without permission. Unfortunately, some people don’t learn this, and they bring their bad behavior into the world—and the airport.

Respect the Airport; Respect the Rules

Just as the FARs are written in blood—someone made a deadly mistake—the rules at most airports are written because someone did something that created a situation that caused problems for others.

If your airport has a rule that hangars can only be used for aeronautical purposes, it is likely that came to be because someone used a hangar for (relatively) cheap storage or set up a nonaviation business because it was cheaper than finding space off-airport.

Using airport property for nonaeronautical purposes can put the airport in violation of the grant assurances. The FAA gives funding to the airport sponsor, such as the city, state, county, or port authority, to supplement local monies that pay for projects like hangar construction, repairs, runway repaving, etc. Nonaeronautical uses put the grants in jeopardy, and the FAA can deny future requests for money or even demand repayment for violating the terms.

Some folks argue they are paying for the space, so they should be able to do whatever they want with their hangar. But there is a lot more rentable space away from the airport than there are hangers for airplanes, and if you or someone you know has been on the waiting list for months or perhaps even years, it’s hard to be OK with someone using that space to store furniture, motorcycles, etc., while your airplane sits on the ramp.

Don’t Be a Parking Pig

There is no such thing as “I will just be a moment” when you park your aircraft in front of someone else’s hangar or, worse yet, leave it at the fuel pump. Please, please, please don’t do this. Be considerate of the other pilots. This includes being cognizant of where your prop wash goes. Never point the tail of your aircraft at a hangar door, because not only can the force of the prop wash damage the door, if the door is opened even slightly, you will be unleashing a miniature gale on an unsuspecting person and their property. Maintain situational awareness so you don’t become The Pilot Who Blasted That Open Hangar That Time.


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