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Education for Airports on Hangar-Use Policy
September 6, 2018 - In 2016, EAA worked with the FAA to update the hangar use policy to formally recognize noncommercial aircraft construction as a sanctioned “aeronautical activity.” This was a major clarification that benefited EAA members and aircraft builders throughout the country.
“The FAA recognizes that the construction of amateur-built aircraft differs from large-scale commercial aircraft manufacturing,” the FAA’s Policy on the Non-Aeronautical Use of Airport Hangars (Docket FAA-2014-0463) states. “Accordingly, the FAA will consider the construction of amateur-built or kitbuilt aircraft as an aeronautical activity.”
Since the updated policy was issued, EAA has advocated for members at numerous federally funded airports across the country where policies do not comply with Federal Grant Assurances. In those cases, EAA works with local stakeholders to ensure that the local airport policies are crafted to allow homebuilding in hangars, as the new policy dictates is permissible. The 2016 update reversed prior FAA policy and case law, which asserted that aircraft construction was not aeronautical in nature. Despite that change, some airports continue to follow outdated policies and restrict these activities by requiring aircraft to meet certain criteria, such as being airworthy.
Airports are where EAA members gather to fly together, and EAA maintains that local rules and regulations should encourage a sense of communal gathering space. Keeping airports accessible to homebuilding is critical to the health of recreational aviation.
EAA is regularly working on individual hangar use policy cases that are brought up by members in their hometowns by clarifying and ensuring compliance with FAA policy at federally obligated airports. For more information or to make an advocacy request, email firstname.lastname@example.org.