The reason for this tenant bulletin is to ask for your help keeping hangar taxilane safety and object free areas clear for aircraft operations. It seems like I am seeing more vehicles in hangar rows and I think we need to make sure that it is vehicles that are out of the way of aircraft, and not making aircraft maneuver around things in safety areas or object free areas.
Without going into all kinds of numbers that the FAA publishes for taxilane dimensions(if you are interested there is an FAA AC that covers this, and I am happy to look at it with you), let me say that it is easier than you think to encroach when a vehicle is sitting in front of a hangar door. In some cases the taxilane safety and object free areas can run from wall-to-wall in the hangar rows.
Here is a fairly recent aerial photo I pulled to look at this and there are a couple of examples:
As you can see in the photo there are cars that pose a wingtip hazards even with these smaller airplanes on centerline. A Cirrus or even a Cessna with a STOL kit would be a bigger wingspan that the two airplanes in the photo.
Here are some best practices that I’d like to see us work on.
- Vehicles give way to aircraft. Moving or parking, remain clear of aircraft movement paths/wingtip areas.
- If you need to park a vehicle in front of the hangar, park as close to, and parallel to, the hangar door as you can. This will provide your neighbors the most clear space to taxi.
- Limit time that vehicles are sitting in front of hangars to loading/unloading of the vehicle, or pulling the plane out to put the car inside.
- Never leave an unattended vehicle in the taxilane. Move it into the hangar if flying, or to a parking area outside the hangar row/taxilane. In the photo, there are parking spots along the greenbelt road south of the hangars, and some areas have a little parking to the north.
- Get your aircraft out of the taxilane when flying out or coming home as quick as you can. Aircraft will necessarily be parked perpendicular to the door, and will take more away from the taxilane than your well-parked vehicle.
- If someone asks you to move a vehicle so they can taxi, help them out. Keep an ear and eye open for inbound aircraft if your vehicle is in front of the hangar, and move if it looks like it would help.
Here at the airport we should be all about airplanes and pilots first, cars and drivers second. We all have hangars so we can enjoy flying the airplanes in them; let’s not forget that it’s bad form to do things that make it harder to fly. Stead tenants have historically cooperated on working out these types of issues, and I hope we can take this on in the same spirit. Please take a few minutes to review how you have been doing things and implement a best practice if appropriate that prioritizes airplanes in the hangar row taxilanes.
Thanks. As always, reach out with questions and, if you are so inclined, stop in to discuss taxilane dimensions with me!!