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August 4, 2014

As you can see in the "News" section, the FAA has announced a new proposed policy statement "Policy on the Non-Aeronautical Use of Airport Hangars".  This has been met with a great deal of skepticism, and perhaps rightfully so.  Homebuilders, in particular, have taken exception to the proposal, due to language which directs homebuilders to build the components of their projects elsewhere, moving the the hangar only for final assembly.

Why this new policy?  Because of abuse.  As pointed out by dozens of audits conducted over the past two years, many hangars have been found to be jammed with everything except airplanes.  Given the fact that federal funds are used to build and maintain airports, the FAA says that teh use of airport facilities for non-aeronautical uses amounts to a subsidy for those users.  They even found non-aviation businesses being run out of the hangars.

Are such abuses rare?  I am afraid that they are not.  We have all seen this happen, with hangars "down the taxiway" filled with cars, boats, woodworking equipment, etc, and we simply choose to look the other way, not wanting to be the "whistle blower" and rat out our buddies who are involved with this kind of stuff.  Who's to blame for our current situation?  We are, pure and simple.

I am surprised to see that the EAA sees this proposal as a good thing for homebuilders, and I encourage you to read and learn about their position.

We will continue to do our best to promote aviation in our state and to speak up on issues that affect pilots.  In this instance it may well be that it will become easier to find hangar space when a crackdown on non-aviation use of hangars occurs.  We will be watching this very carefully, on your behalf.

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