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Site development requirements are facility issues dealing with the land on which the hangar will reside. The hangar project team should perform the following studies to gain a realistic understanding of project requirements:

Survey the site under consideration for existing buildings, parking areas, or other structures. If the site has existing structures, it is important to identify who will be responsible for demolition of those structures.

If demolition is necessary, survey all structures for hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead paint. Hazardous materials may be costly to remove and significantly increase project schedule requirements.

Survey the site for contaminated soils, ground water, or other materi- als requiring environmental remedia- tion before development. This can have serious cost and schedule implications for a hangar project.

Have a soils engineer make necessary field tests to establish foundation and pavement design criteria. The study should also address any potential unstable soils or high water-table conditions. If unstable conditions are encountered, additional site preparation and special foundations may be required and should be identified early in the project.

Assess landscaping requirements.

Assess parking requirements for airplanes, cars, buses, and service vehicles.



Site utility requirements are facility issues involving the utilities that will be needed by the hangar facility. The hangar project team should perform the following studies:

Identify, locate, and establish the capacities for existing utilities to deter- mine whether they will be sufficient to meet hangar facility utility demands.

Meet with the airport authority or utility purveyor to develop require- ments for connecting or extending existing utility systems. In some situations, airport authorities may provide utility connections to the hangar site at no additional cost. In other instances, they may require fees and design approval before accessing airport utilities. In other cases, the airport may not have the needed utilities and the airline will have to bring in such services at its own expense. These issues can impact both project cost and sched- ule and should be considered early in the planning process.

Identify the utility systems required to support the hangar facility:

  • Potable water, fire water, and airplane wash water, including water recycling systems and oil-water separators. Typically, hangars with doors higher than 28 ft require overhead-deluge aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) fire-protection systems. For DC-10, 767, and larger air- planes, underwing foam monitors are also often required. Hangar fire-protection systems can require water storage capacities of 200,000 to 500,000 gal or more. Above- or below-ground water storage tanks may be required if the local airport or municipality cannot fur- nish necessary quantities. Further, many airport water systems cannot meet flow-rate requirements with- out supplemental on-site pumps.

  • Sanitary and industrial-waste sewer systems. Hangar fire-protection water often is discharged at rates of 3,000 gal or more per minute. In many situations, the discharged water must be directed, contained, treated, and either taken off site by waste-handling contractors or pretreated and metered into the sanitary sewer system.

  • Storm-water sewer systems. This includes potential require- ments to treat or retain on-site storm water.



  • Electrical power, including emergency power availability. The stability of current or future power sources should be carefully analyzed with respect to airplane fleet ground-power requirement specifications and power-quality sensitive systems such as com- puters that may be incorporated into the hangar facility.

  • Natural gas, compressed air, high-pressure steam, and chilled water systems.

  • Telephone, data, video, and security systems.

  • Heating systems. Most hangars in moderate to cold climates have heating systems. Hangars in tropical environments often are partially open and use natural ventilation; hangars located in desert environments may require air conditioning. Paint and strip hangars, regard- less of their geographical loca- tion, typically require controlled temperature, humidity, and air-quality systems.



Building requirements are the elements of planning used to prepare detailed documents from which a construction contractor can build the hangar. When a designer completes the design phase of the project, the completed design package consists of two major categories of information: plans and specifications. Plans are drawing instructions to the construction contractor that describe the physical characteristics of the facility. Specifications are written instructions to the construction contractor that describe quality requirements.

For example, the plans will stipulate where concrete is required, whereas the specifications will specify how strong the concrete should be. Facility specifications generally are categorized in the format shown in table 3. When the hangar project team is determining building require- ments, it should address all the applicable areas listed.


No element of a hangar project is as important as the development of a strong project plan. No matter how well a hangar is designed and constructed, the final product will not meet airline expectations if it has not been planned properly. The hangar project team must be led by an effective and empowered project manager and include representa- tives from all functions that will use the new hangar. This team should be sup- plemented by planning consultants who have a proven record in the planning, design, and construction of airplane hangars similar to the project under consideration. When planning the hangar site, the project team must try to envi- sion airline needs for the next 20 years and then site the hangar accordingly. A successful project team carefully bal- ances schedule, cost, and quality, placing appropriate emphasis on each factor.



The Boeing Flight Test hangar in Seattle, Wash., is an excellent example of good planning. Built nearly 50 years ago, it is still able to house the larger commercial airplanes now produced by Boeing.

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