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NATA releases Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection Guidance
NATA has been on the front line in educating the NFPA technical committee on the operating environment of GA businesses, and has worked with members to guide them through the process of hangar fire protection.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has released Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection Guidance, an educational guide for hangar owners and operators seeking a general understanding of updated hangar foam suppression system requirements, options and alternatives.

“When the 2022 edition of NFPA 409: Standard on Aircraft Hangars was released in October 2021, changes to the standard raised questions on how the new requirements would impact both existing hangars and new hangar construction,” says managing director of industry and regulatory affairs Megan Eisenstein.

NATA developed the Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection Guidance to further educate its members on the impact of two NATA-supported revisions to NFPA 409: Standard on Aircraft Hangars approved by the National Fire Protection (NFPA) technical committee on airport facilities: to create a new risk-based process for determining/defining hangar fire protection requirements, applicable to both new and existing hangars; and to exempt Group II hangars where hazardous operations are not performed from the foam requirements within NFPA 409.

“Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection Guidance provides the industry with a better understanding of what codes are now in effect, how they are applicable and how to move forward with eliminating foam from aircraft hangars,” adds Eisenstein.

Available free online, the guidance gives details on applicable codes and hangar classification; code exceptions and how to avoid foam; if foam is required and other considerations; foam system recommendations; and FAQs.

The latest resource supporting the initiative includes a flow chart on various options to achieve code compliance relative to fire suppression systems based on the International Building Code (IBC), 2021 edition; International Fire Code (IFC), 2021 edition; and NFPA 409, 2016 edition.

“The National Air Transportation Association has been on the front line in educating the NFPA technical committee on the unique operating environment of general aviation businesses. Just as importantly, we've continued to work alongside our members to guide them throughout the entire process of hangar fire protection and to inform them of how NFPA 409 developments and requirements impact their operations,” says president and CEO Timothy Obitts.

NATA would like to thank the following members for graciously donating their time and expertise in developing the guide: Doug Fisher, Fisher Engineering; Curt Castagna, Aeroplex Group Partners; and Dan Bianco, JRMA.

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