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Hangar purchase: how does this happen, legally?


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I declare a selfish motive: I'm scoping out a business where this may help.

My question is: how do people legally acquire long-term ownership of a hangar? Is it:

1. Purchase of a title, on a community title basis, or,

2. Very long-term leases? If so, what terms and conditions?

 

If anyone can help here I'd be grateful.

 

Thanks.

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Depends on whether the ground beneath is freehold title or is a lease. If freehold it is the same as buying a house or commercial property. If a lease, you buy the physical construction but must continue paying the ground lease. There may be a requirement for prior approval of the transaction by the lessor, and there will be a need for lease transfer documentation.

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Ok thanks. Do you know of really long leases, like 99 or 999 years? What I'm wondering is whether people effectively "sell" a hangar using a very very long lease.

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Cooperplace - The very largest proportion of hangars in Australia are on land owned by the Commonwealth of Australia, and these hangars are leased under long-term lease agreements that usually run to around 20 to 25 yrs.

There has been an increase in airparks in recent years, which are normally freehold land owned by a single individual or company. The airparks are usually divided up into areas that are held under a Community title run by a Body Corporate.

 

Land titles vary from State to State, so we need to know the State you're looking at. The following journalistic article, and the link to a freehold Qld airpark flyer, might assist you with additional information and questions.

 

https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/plane-buffs-descend-on-new-property-as-air-parks-take-off-in-australia-820066/

 

http://www.aircentre.com.au/aircraft/news/2011/image/lockyer-airport.pdf

 

Some airparks have provision for residential buildings and hangars, some are for hangars only. Remember the local council has a huge say, in what can and can't be done, as regards hangars and airparks.

And if you simply lease a hangar on a long term lease, the landlord is the over-arching ruler and the landlords T's & C's can be pretty onerous - including making you remove everything you installed during your lease period.

 

I do not know of any aviation arrangement where hangars are leased for 99 years. Land is basically too valuable to tie it up for that length of time.

Of course, if you're a Chinese company with vast sums of money, maybe we can discuss that 99 yr aviation lease......... :cheezy grin:

 

 

 

 

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Depending on the landlord, the hangar lease does not necessarily include the apron, and that can be subject to a seperate licence. 

My advice is to get an experienced Solicitor on board as soon as possible - you’ll save time and money in the long run. 

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I hear there,s an XCHINESE airport in WA that could/Should on the market Cheap (   one dollar for the Chinese ),  maybe get a cheap aircraft from the same auctioneer. LoL

spacesailor

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First thing - see your local Council.  Find out what is allowed under the Town Plan (airstrip, minimum subdivision, number of sheds etc).  Then decide what you want to do.  To ask for something more than allowed, you will have to mount a case which will include Planners, application fees, studies etc = money!

Assuming you already have an approved airstrip on freehold land - you can go two ways.  1. subdivide airside land into house / hangar lots and sell the freehold.  2. Lease areas of land - you could build hangars and lease these or lease the land and let someone build (but you may have to carry the Council Building Approval process).  My experience is that if the land is large enough to have an airstrip it is probably zoned Rural and not able to be subdivided below a certain size (200ha in our shire).  

It might be worth sending Blackhawk a PM as he was involved in a Development Application to a Qld Council for an Airpark.  One lesson from that was to do your homework, because even when it was approved, there were no buyers, so the owner didn't proceed with the works and the DA lapsed.

 

Probably simpler to apply to Council (if you have to) to build a few hangars and rent to users.  You retain ownership of the land, can remove trouble makers, can adjust rent to suit etc.  Make sure the airstrip and hangars comply with CAAP 92(1)(1) - that is width, distance from centreline etc.  This is your insurance - if there is an accident on your private strip and someone wants to sue, the best defence is that it complies with the CASA safety standard.  You will also need Public Liability Insurance and should insist that occupiers carry their own insurance (yours won't cover gear owned by them).  You may be in the gun for any complaints about flying by them, people ringing the Airservices complaints line or Council, and that may end in restrictions on movements or changed circuit procedures.  We've got a bloke with a noisy aircraft practicing for STOL competitions who has been moved on from 3 other airstrips and has now chosen to annoy our neighbours with very early morning low level constant movements.  Think about how you will manage that.

 

Our Flying Club is on leased land, but there are restrictive conditions due to the ownership of the land (State Reserve - no residing, no commercial use etc).  All buildings have to be approved by the Council, hangar owners pay a one-off fee to the Club for clearing & forming the Taxiway (Council only allow "as required" clearing) and pay an annual fee to cover Public Liability Insurance, maintenance.  Owners don't have any rights to an area of land, but agree to keep the area around their hangar tidy.  The agreement was tightened due to a couple of members not playing the game - so there is now a clause that if an owner breaches the lease conditions (after warnings etc) that the Club can take ownership of the hangar.  In hindsight, the Club should have put these conditions in from the beginning, it would have saved 10 years of on-going grief. The Council's lease runs for 20 years and can be terminated by the giving of notice by either party, with 28 days to remove all improvements. 

 

That's a start.  If you can be more specific, we can give better experience.

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Personally,  I will never rent or lease anything.   Build on rural freehold land,  my hangar is actually a fully enclosed hay shed and my aircraft fits well, with its folding wings

My airstrip under construction is a wide fire break,  fenced one side.  It’s wider than a standard firebreak because in 2009 we had a massive fire the jumped the break and burnt the whole property.  I photographed the event, to justify the widening of the break.  There will be a windsock, only stood up when I need to land......job for wife!

Weather station receiver in plane to see conditions 5km out.

Stay under the Council radar is best 🙂

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My hangar is on private land and I own the hangar, but the landowner owns the land. We pay the landowner an annual fee, but we have no guarantee of tenure. If the landowner wanted to he could turf us all off with no redress, but of course we could demolish the hangars and take them away. It is a matter of trust, but the landowner is getting on and sometime in the not too far distant future he could die and then his five kids could do whatever they liked.

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Caboolture has a lot of hangars. The airfield is leased from the council on a 20 year lease...this can be taken away literally at any time and all those hangars would go. There were 26 new hangars built a few years ago they were $182k and $212k each if you wanted one..they held a ballot as there were more buyers than hangars...rembering that the lease can be taken away at any time or not renewed in about 18 years time.

Best scenario is of course a freehold purchase or buy a block of dirt somewhere and have your own airstrip. But if you want the airfield style of life its pretty much a given you never really own your hangar

There is also a yearly insurance and lease fee required for each hangar

 

 

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This is a difficult question to address.  It depends very much on where you are and what’s available, what the rules are and what’s possible. 

 

Having quite a bit of experience on the issue, both personally, legally and with mates and colleagues, I can vouch the answer is very different from one jurisdiction to another. It varies from state to state, one city, shire or regional council to another.  I have had hangar experience at a major airport where the airport owners screwed everyone as their lease renewals came due.

Then they marched in and took the leases AND also the hangars off people despite most being of the opinion that they owned the actual metalwork of the hangars,  if not the land they stood on. Turned out they payed for it but didn’t own it once the first lease had lapsed. 

 

 Then I have had experience of a mate who took on the local council ( and won) over the right to enter and leave his property by whatever means he owned and was safe to neighbours. ( His helicopter). Then the neighbouring shire council who then immediately installed by-laws to counter the same thing happening -a general shire-wide law against ANY private airstrips in the shire  - and who have effectively blocked another mate from using his farm strip except for one movement a week ( upheld in court at great cost against the mate). 

 

Then the same shire who wanted me to pay about $18k in “fees” before I even got the ground surveyed ( at my cost)  or got a slab laid. And then stated the lease would include a clause that the hangar itself would revert to their ownership at the lease end. 

 

To my current hangar in a third regional council area, where they will give commercial leases ( at higher cost) for 30 years vs private leases at 10 years for basic fee, or 20 years as long as I pay an extra $4000 for a “survey of the same 20 x 20 m  piece of lease land. Despite me finding out the surveys are already done and on council files and I am paying $4000 for a guy in the department to click on a “ Print” button. 

 

Then also bear in mind that if you own your own land that all it takes is a single badly disposed neighbour to complain ( even prospectively before you create any noise that upsets them)  and you could be blocked. The guy mentioned above finally got restrictive approval for limited movements and then the complainant asked the court to impose that he had to provide them with a log of movements. When asked why, the response was that they couldn’t always hear the noise so wouldn’t know if he was adhering to the rules!!!! 

That bit was eventually tossed out but despite them admitting his noise was so minimal they couldn’t hear it, his restrictions remained. 

 

Basically you need to approach your local airport, local council etc and get as much info as you can before you make any decisions and especially before you spend any money. 

 

Oh and despite the contradictory position I’m adopting in giving you advice, don’t ask forums! 🤣

What one person knows from absolute knowledge, another thinks he knows from rumour and heresay and another thinks he knows because it “sounds right to him. “ None of the above holds up when the local authorities come knocking on your hangar door. 

 

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How about those Jandakot hangers !. Payed for by the Chinese. 

Wrong side of the country5l think for most of us.

spacesailor

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Most commonly hangars are on leased land. Ownership of a hangar and the lease of the land it sits on are 2 entirely separate things. It is possible in some situations for the hangar owner to be different to the leaseholder. If the land is leasehold then there will be a hangar owner and a sub lessee as the leaseholder sub leases the land the hangar sits on. Terms and conditions of leases of sub leases are wide and varied. Generally speaking if the leaseholder decides not to renew a lease or enter into a new lease at the end of the term or evict the leaseholder for failing to honour specific conditions etc, then the leaseholder is bound to remove the hangar and restore the land to the condition it was in before the lease was granted.

 

In the end everything comes down to money. A hangar owner faced with not having a lease renewed may decide to just walk away. Enforcement of the lease conditions is normally to expensive so the building is forfeited and just sits there and in the long term the lessor will sell it or pull it down.

 

At our aerodrome the landowner is Crown Lands. The Hangar Owners Association is the lessee and all hangar owners are sub lessees to the Association. Leases have never been for more than 10 years but at the end of each term a new lease has always been renegotiated. There have been right of renewal clauses in past leases but they no longer do this. The lessee owns all improvements such as fencing, cones, markers, roads, runways taxiways etc. Each time a new lease is negotiated there are more bizarre  conditions added so the lease has now more than 50 pages of terms and conditions. As is standard procedure the leaseholder is responsible to pay council rates.

 

It all works pretty seamlessly and we (Hangar owners Assn) have complete autonomy over the land and hangars change ownership & sub leases are assigned to the new owner without any involvement from Crown Lands.

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