We like the availability and quality of pre-engineered aircraft hanger onstruction. As we got into our hangar research we were amazed at the number of companies that sell pre-engineered hangars, many offering turnkey erection. Almost all are metal building manufacturers that build hangars as one of their clear-span products. Most will work with you to match the demands of your site and help you with what may be a complex approval process for construction on a public-use airport.
Especially on public-use airports, we recommend that you do extensive homework regarding the airport's friendliness to privately owned hangars. That starts with the airport's Minimum Standards and its rules and regulations concerning hangars. We also suggest that you spend a lot of time talking with other owners of private hangars to find out about their experience in dealing with airport management.
Those who have built aircraft hanger construction told us that if you can bring water and sewer into the hangar, do so. Even if you can't afford to put in a bathroom right away, the value add in doing so at some point will enhance the resale value of the hangar. What are the taxes you will face in erecting and owning the hangar? Those can vary widely state by state and by locality. There will probably be zoning regulations to comply with as well as a local permitting and inspection process that will have its own set of fees.
Does the site drain adequately? Historically, airports have been built on the cheapest land available to the entity developing the airport. It's not unusual for that land to have been cheap because it has crummy drainage. Building a hangar that turns out to flood easily is a mistake you don't want to make.
Will the construction need FAA approval? On most public-use airports, you'll need to file a Form 7460-1 with the FAA 45 days prior to construction. The FAA is concerned with structures that could project into protected airspace around runways or may block the view of portions of aircraft movement areas from the control tower. For most hangar construction, the requirement is a formality, although we have seen a few instanceswhere the design of a proposed building had to be modified.
Whether you are building a single T-hangar, box hangar or a series of either or both, you'll need to decide on the basic structure. The most common is post-and-beam. You can still find hut hangars. They are strong and inexpensive although, because they slope inward, take more square footage for the same aircraft storage area. The lower price may be offset by the cost of the land underneath. There are also durable fabric hangars on the market; however, we tend to think of them as temporary rather than permanent.
Doors make the hangar. There are three main styles in ascending cost: sliding, electric bi-fold and one-piece hydraulic lift. For the owner who wants a strong, no-frills hangar to protect his airplane and is handy with tools, we may fit the bill. By simply saying that if you've got ramp space, it's got a hangar for you. If building a hangar is right for you, we think you can find a pre-engineered hangar that fits your needs.