Finding a hangar that meets the needs of your plane and you is not, necessarily an easy task since many factors come into play. Here are some important insights to keep in mind when searching for a hangar that is as good fit for you, your lifestyle and your budget.
Choosing an Airport
One initial question you might ask yourself is: At which airport will I base my plane? If one or more airports are in fairly close proximity to your home, you are fortunate. As would be expected, the closer an airport is to an urban center, the more you will pay for the hangar’s square-footage rental space.
A common-hangar space is often referred to as a ‘gang hangar’ where your plane would share the flooring with other aircraft. One advantage of a ‘gang hangar’ is its lower cost. The downside, however, is the risk your plane faces regarding possible damage due to hangar operators who must move one or more planes on any given day. Minor and not-so-minor damage can be par for the course in this type of environment; and don’t be surprised if your plane’s insurance agent asks whether or not your plane will be ‘gang hangar’ housed. Also, you could be forced to wait 24 hours before you can retrieve your plane, based on how ‘buried’ your craft may be in relation to others around it. The closer your plane is to the front door, the higher the rent – it’s all about ‘location, location, location’.
A number of questions should be answered before a ‘gang hangar’ situation is chosen, such as: Are there limitations to the type of maintenance that can be performed inside the hangar? or What type of insurance does the hangar owner carry?, etc.
Choosing to Rent Private Hangar-Space
Most pilots would, probably, agree that having sole access to a hangar is the an ideal scenario. Whether an entire hangar is available or whether you rent one side of a larger hangar, the advantages of going solo with hangar rental speak for themselves regarding convenience and the overall safety of one’s plane.
Availability of hangars for rent will vary depending on where one calls home. If you live in rural Kansas, for example, it is common to find T-hangars that are readily available that rent for about $45 per month, on a good field; but if you live in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area, T-hangars can run about $300 each month. Other metropolitan areas will rent T-hangars for anywhere from $500 to $800 a month depending on how much competition for available hangars, exists.
Many higher-priced rentals include concrete flooring, insulated walls, running water, hangar-keepers’ insurance and utilities. With that being said, in some areas waiting lists for hangar space can be years long – up to a decade! The going lease rate for a hangar will hinge on the physical location of the hangar, the type of aircraft, the area’s population density and the type of aircraft being housed – all, of which, will determine rates that range from one extreme to the other. It is not uncommon for corporate hangars to cost $1,700 each month for a King Air 200 and $2,500 a month for a Learjet 35. Along with those high-end hangar costs, however, one can enjoy extra amenities that could include 24/7 security and/or surveillance, liability insurance, attached restroom with showers, epoxy flooring and more.
Time is extremely important to a lot of people who must get where they need to be, on time, every time. As Hank Mook – general manager of Signature Flight Support at Chicago Midway Airport – states: “People will pay for convenience. You might find a less expensive facility 25 miles away from the city; but with big-city traffic, you have to drive and hour and half to get there. CEO’s would rather pay a higher rate to hangar their aircraft, if it will save them valuable time.”
Though hangar proximity can be an issue for any number of pilots, HangarTrader.com is a hangar-space search-engine that offers insight on how to find hangar space for sale or rent in your area. Also, one can, even, utilize the services of Craigslist to locate non-conventional storage options that could include farmers who would house your plane for a nominal fee.
Though the Wright Brothers may have required the simplest type of housing for their aircraft, today’s private craft should receive the same care as an expensive automobile – safely housed where damaging elements are kept at bay and where maintenance can be performed, at any time. Whether you want a hangar for a crop-duster, glider, helicopter, private jet or a Cessna 172, utilizing a hangar to keep your hard-earned investment safe should be an absolute prerequisite.