It was a policy that never made a lick of sense in the first place, and now it’s going away. The FAA yesterday issued a final policy on “non-aeronautical use of hangars” that purges terms like “incidental use” and “insignificant amount of space” from the document. As a result, the FAA will consider the construction of amateur-built or kit-built aircraft as an “aeronautical activity” permitted under the guidelines.
In the past the FAA did not define aircraft building as an aeronautical activity. Only final assembly was permitted at hangars on federally obligated airports. The new definition, which AOPA and other aviation groups have been fighting for, changes the definition to include noncommercial aircraft construction and not just final assembly.
“AOPA believes that constructing an aircraft, not just the final assembly, is an aeronautical activity, which the update appropriately reflects,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president for government affairs.
The change also allow the storage of non-aeronautical items in hangars as long as they do not interfere with the “intended aeronautical use” of the hangar and are allowed by the airport.
For airports with hangar capacity that exceeds demand, the FAA noted “it is preferable to make use of the hangars to generate revenue for the airport, as long as the hangar capacity can be recovered on relatively short notice for aeronautical use when needed.”