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Thursday, 08 July, 2021

NFPA 409 Technical Committee Ballot Includes Industry-Supported Standard Revisions

Washington, DC, July 8, 2021 – Yesterday, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Airport Facilities overseeing NFPA 409: Standard on Aircraft Hangars voted to approve the two revisions to NFPA 409 supported by the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). If enacted, these revisions will:

  • Create a new risk-based process for determining/defining hangar fire protection requirements. This would be applicable to both new and existing hangars.
  • Exempt Group II hangars (generally between 12,500 square feet and 40,000 square feet), where hazardous operations are not performed, from the foam requirements within NFPA 409. In lieu of a foam fire suppression system, a closed head automatic sprinkler system will be required. “Hazardous operations” are defined in the revision as: “including but not limited to fuel transfer, welding, torch cutting, torch soldering, doping, hot work (e.g., welding, cutting, brazing, grinding), spray painting, oxygen service, composite repairs, fuel system or fuel tank maintenance, aircraft cabling, wiring changes, or initial electrical system testing.”

“NATA is pleased that the Technical Committee acknowledged that the requirements for foam in Group II hangars have not kept pace with the current risk of fire in modern hangar operations and aircraft. The low risk of fuel spill fires in non-hazardous operations hangars warrants modified protection requirements,” stated NATA Managing Director of Industry & Regulatory Affairs Megan Eisenstein.

With the final ballot results posted online, there is one more step in the process before these revisions officially become part of the NFPA 409 standard. NFPA members can provide notice that they intend to propose a motion to oppose these requirements at the 2022 NFPA Annual Meeting.

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The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for 80 years. Representing nearly 3,700 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.