AOPA is concerned about new hangar-rental rates under consideration for Hawaii’s 15 state-run airports, and has urged officials to use FAA-approved guidelines to set the rates—then to use the revenue for improving airport infrastructure.
The Hawaii Transportation Department operates the network of 15 airports “as a single system for management and financial purposes on behalf of the State by the Department of Transportation,” according to the agency’s website.
In a letter to Ford Fuchigami, director of Hawaii’s Transportation Department, AOPA President Mark Baker noted that revenue from hangar rentals must “stay on the airport” under FAA regulations.
Baker expressed confidence that Division Deputy Director Ross Higashi, who administers the airport system, “is aware that using rates of well-maintained nearby industrial areas in Hawai’i is not a FAA generally accepted approach in determining hangar rates.”
By following FAA guidelines and working with tenants, officials can “establish hangar rates that are mutually beneficial to both tenants and the sustainability of the aviation community,” he wrote.
Arriving at a reasonable rate structure would help spur “long overdue investment in hangars and facilities for general aviation activity,” he wrote.
AOPA has been active in advocating for fair hangar rental rates throughout the current review process, and encourages members to inform the association of rates being proposed at the airports they use, said Melissa McCaffrey, AOPA Western Pacific regional manager.
“Aviation is an economic driver for the state of Hawaii. Failing to follow FAA guidance by setting rates that are not fair and reasonable could put the industry at risk,” she said.