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Thread: Obstacles to ownership and GA growth

  1. #1

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    Obstacles to ownership and GA growth

    I have been reading several articles lately in both AOPA and EAA forums and magazines concerning the question of how to get GA and sport aviation kick started. I am a fairly new sport pilot and aircraft owner (1.5 years) and I have found that one of the most frustrating elements of breaking into the field, hobby, sport etc is finding hanger space at a decent airstrip or airport. I have not heard this concern voiced in any articles, emails or communications. I have my name on several waiting lists in the area. The shortest is 7 people and the highest is 49. There are no new hangers being built at the 4 airports that I am on lists at and as far as I can find out no current plans for any. This seems to be a very large obstacle that must be overcome to truly grow the sport. I am curious if others have hit this roadblock.

    Scott

    BTW, if anyone in the Jeff City MO area has hanger space available (at a decent price) please let me know.
    Last edited by sginter; 09-22-2011 at 06:28 PM.

  2. #2
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more. Hangar space in this area is definitely at a premium. Where available, the rent is higher than the rent I paid on my first house. When approached, the owner of one airport indicated that he had considered building more hangars, but when figuring in the cost per hangar, the increase in taxes and insurance, the hassle of getting township, EPA, state, etc approval to build - it just wasn't worth it......
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

  3. #3
    Chad Jensen's Avatar
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    It's very very location specific, though I hear more often than not that hangar space is nearly impossible to get in a lot of places. An example of an airport that is currently opposite of what seems to be the norm, is the airport I just left, Central Illinois Regional Airport, KBMI. It's a fairly busy regional hub for commuter airlines, but GA has almost dropped off the map there, other than a very active Chapter (129). When I left, there were at least 6 hangars open that I knew of, and the waiting list was down below 10...and no one on the list even wants a hangar right now! It didn't use to be that way. The wait was over two years not long ago, but the impact the economy has had on GA is easily seen here.

    Things will get back on track, and it'll pick up, but hangar space will always be a premium item...we do need more hangars!
    Chad Jensen
    EAA #755575

  4. #4
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
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    What are you needing to store? Reason I ask what you're needing to store, is in the 3 years I've had my airplane at the airport, I have had no problems meeting people who want to / are willing to SHARE a hangar.

    So, I think your post is onto the right idea - start asking around. The first guy I shared with saw my Sonex in the 40-foot T alone, and he didn't know me or how to contact me so he taped a note on the door with his number. If you took the taped-note approach and blanketed your most desired airport, you might find a spot in a couple of days.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

    http://www.spoonworld.com

  5. #5

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    I think the hanger problem has been around a long time and location does make a difference. Having lived near a large metro area I know how expensive hanger rents can be and the demand is always high. Rents are cheaper in the countryside, and if you don't mind driving a bit you can still find a few vacancies. One of the big barriers to building a hanger is a function of govt. financed airports. I have done some investigations for aircraft clubs who were considering building a club hanger. The stopping point is you can build the hanger and use it for 10 years, then the hanger becomes the property of the airport "authority" and you get to be first in line to rent it from them. So, even if you can come up with the $ to build, and insure, you only "own" the facility for 10 years and then the building belongs to the airport. You can't actually buy the land like you can buy a lot to build a house. I don't think this is true for all airports but it seems that county and municipal airports have this condition, if you build there you are making a large contribution to the local aviation community, but not very appealing economics.

    Joe

  6. #6

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    As far as the original question- I recall there is a small sod strip about 5-10 miles south of Jeff City- Balcer field. Used to go in there a lot with our Hueys.

  7. #7

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    Thanks David, I will look into it.

    Scott

  8. #8
    Hank's Avatar
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    I'm right there with you, Scott. I'm #14 on the hangar list at my home field; been there four years, no movement. There are twelve (12) rental T-hangars, so not much to share. Looks like I should have a hangar [maybe?] around the time I overhaul my engine, which hits TBO in another 1500 hours . . .
    Hank
    1970 M20-C

  9. #9

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    Scott, I have been a pilot and airplane owner for 30 years. I have never owned a hangar, mostly have not had access to one.
    It would be great to have one, but not required to fly.
    Would you quit driving if you did not have a garage?

  10. #10
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    Those of us who fly tube and fabric airplanes would not be flying long without a hangar...;D
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

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