Effective July 1, 2016, the FAA has now provided a change in policy for airports that accept federal grants, or are under other federal obligations to allow storage of non-aeronautical items in airport facilities designated for aeronautical use.   Previously, the FAA had required that Airport grant recipients comply with certain federal policies as contained in their airport grant assurances which restricted use.  The FAA had long required that the airport facilities be available for aeronautical use to ensure that the airport facilities met aviation demands at airports.

In July 2014 the FAA issued a notice of proposed policy on the use of hangars and other facilities at federally obligated airports.  In response, the FAA received over 2,400 comments which it analyzed and found fell into two basic categories:

(1) the FAA should not regulate hangar use at all; and

(2) the FAA should have policy limitations on use of hangars at federally funded airports, but the proposed policy was too restrictive.

On June 15, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register its new policy in this matter.  Please see FAA news release:   https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=85689

It seems that the FAA has recognized that economic consideration may factor into the viability of airports and has now relaxed restrictions on non-aeronautical use of hangar and other facilities.  The new Policy can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/06/15/2016-14133/policy-on-the-non-aeronautical-use-of-airport-hangars

It includes specific listings of Standards for Aeronautical Use of Hangars, as well as approval requirements for non-aeronautical uses, and clarifies that non-commercial construction of amateur or kit built aircraft is considered an aeronautical activity.

This new policy is an interesting read to those who have been faced with uncertainty regarding whether various activities and storage of items at airport facilities are appropriate or may jeopardize federal funding of the airport.