11 Aircraft Hangar Requirements to Be Aware Of (2024)

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • Whether you’re a seasoned aviator, an aircraft owner, or simply have a knack for curiosity, understanding the essential aircraft hangar requirements for design and construction is crucial. Aircraft hangars play a pivotal role in safeguarding valuable assets, ensuring aircraft maintenance, and complying with safety standards and building codes. 

    Ready to build an aircraft hangar of your own?

    But not sure where to start or what to consider?

    In this blog, we will delve into the regulations, codes, and standards that govern the construction of hangars, explore the key considerations for accommodating various aircraft, and provide insights into creating functional, compliant, and secure aviation facilities.

    What’s inside this read:

    • Defining an aircraft hangar
    • 11 key regulations of aircraft hangars

    Ready to become empowered with aircraft hangar knowledge? Read on to check out the insights into aircraft hangars and how to ensure you comply with their requirements.

    What Exactly is an Aircraft Hangar? 🤔

    An aircraft hangar, a.k.a.–airplane hangar, is a large, enclosed structure or building designed to house and protect aircraft, such as airplanes and helicopters. These structures are typically constructed to provide shelter from the elements, including rain, snow, wind, and sunlight, and to provide a secure environment for maintenance, repairs, and storage of aircraft.

    Airplane hangars come in various sizes and designs, depending on the type and number of aircraft they are intended to accommodate. They can range from small, single-aircraft hangars to massive facilities capable of housing multiple large commercial airplanes or military aircraft.

    Key Features an Airplane Hangar May Include

    Below are some of the critical features that are commonly associated with airplane hangars.

    • Large doors: Hangars typically have large doors, often with a sliding or rolling mechanism, that allow aircraft to enter and exit the facility. These doors are designed to accommodate the size and wingspan of the aircraft they are meant for.
    • Adequate lighting: Hangars are equipped with appropriate lighting to facilitate maintenance and inspection work on aircraft. This may include natural light from windows or artificial lighting systems.
    • Ventilation and climate control: Hangars may have ventilation systems to maintain proper air quality and temperature control to prevent damage to aircraft systems and components.
    • Safety features: Hangars are equipped with fire suppression systems and other safety measures to protect both the aircraft and personnel working in the facility.
    • Maintenance and storage areas: Hangars often have designated spaces for storing tools, equipment, spare parts, and other materials needed for aircraft maintenance and repairs.
    • Office and administrative areas: Some hangars include offices or administrative spaces for personnel responsible for managing aircraft operations, maintenance scheduling, and record-keeping.
    • Security measures: Security is essential for protecting valuable aircraft. Hangars may have access control systems, surveillance cameras, and security personnel to ensure the safety and security of the aircraft.

    Where Are Aircraft Hangars Typically Found?

    Airplane hangars are commonly found at airports, military bases, and private airfields, where they serve as essential infrastructure for the aviation industry, including commercial airlines, private aviation, and military operations.

    Digging Into the Requirements of Aircraft Hangars

    The construction of airplane hangars is subject to various regulations, codes, and standards to ensure safety, functionality, and compliance with local building codes and aviation requirements. These standards may vary by country, region, and the intended use of the hangar (e.g., commercial, private, or military). 

    Here are 11 standards that typically govern the construction of airplane hangars:

    1. Building Codes

    Hangar construction must adhere to local building codes and regulations, which may include requirements for structural integrity, fire safety, electrical systems, plumbing, and accessibility. These codes are typically established by municipal or regional authorities and can vary widely.

    2. International Building Code (IBC)

    In the United States, the International Building Code (IBC) provides guidelines for the construction of structures, including hangars. It includes provisions for wind and seismic load resistance, fire protection, occupancy classifications, and other important aspects of hangar design and construction.

    3. Aviation Regulations

    Hangar construction must comply with aviation regulations set forth by civil aviation authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. These regulations address factors like aircraft clearances, taxiway and runway access, and safety considerations.

    4. Aircraft Size and Type

    The size and type of aircraft that will be housed in the hangar will influence its design and construction requirements. Different aircraft have varying wingspans, heights, and clearance needs that must be accommodated.

    The IBC provides minimum size and clearance requirements for airplane hangars based on the size and type of aircraft that will be stored. These requirements ensure that there is enough space for safe movement and maintenance of aircraft.

    5. Environmental Regulations

    Hangars may be subject to environmental regulations related to issues like stormwater management, hazardous materials storage, and noise abatement.

    6. Fire Safety

    Hangars often contain flammable aviation fuels and other materials. Fire safety standards are crucial, and hangars may be equipped with fire suppression systems, fire-rated construction materials, and emergency exits.

    This means that construction materials must have adequate fire resistance, especially in areas where flammable aviation fuels and materials are stored. Fire-rated walls and doors may be required as well.  Plus, hangars must provide access for firefighting equipment, such as fire department vehicle access, fire hydrants, and standpipes.

    7. Zoning and Land Use Regulations

    Hangar construction may be subject to zoning and land use regulations that dictate the location, size, and use of the facility within a given area.

    8. Accessibility

    Hangars should provide accessible pathways for people with disabilities in compliance with accessibility codes and regulations, ensuring that all individuals can safely enter and exit the building.

    9. Building Materials

    The choice of construction materials, such as steel, concrete, or wood, will depend on factors like the aircraft size, local climate, and building codes. Materials should meet structural and safety requirements.

    10. Electrical and Mechanical Systems

    Hangars require electrical systems for lighting, power outlets, and other equipment. Mechanical systems for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) may also be necessary. These systems must be installed in compliance with the IBC and relevant electrical codes.

    11. Security

    Depending on the location and use of the hangar, security measures may be required to protect the aircraft and facilities from theft, vandalism, and unauthorized access.

    Be Aware That Aircraft Hangar Regulations Can Change

    It’s important to note that regulations and standards may change over time, so it’s essential to consult with local authorities and aviation authorities, such as the FAA in the United States or equivalent agencies in other countries, to ensure compliance with current requirements when planning and constructing an airplane hangar. 

    Additionally, hiring experienced architects, engineers, and contractors with expertise in aviation facility design is crucial to ensure that the hangar meets all applicable standards and regulations.

    Aircraft Hangar Requirements: Stay in the Know

    With the above 11 considerations we’ve provided when it comes to aircraft hangar requirements, you can make sure you stay in the loop about complying with regulations for your next project.

    Contact our team of expert contractors at APX to ask any questions about aircraft hangar construction. We’ll take the time to listen to your needs and address your concerns about kickstarting your next construction project.

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