We conducted a special review of the Metropolitan Airports Commission's (MAC) reliever airport hangar use and ground leasing practices. MAC owns and operates six reliever airports throughout the Twin Cities area. It leases airport land to individuals or businesses that build privately owned hangars for aircraft storage and commercial aviation purposes.
A hangar owner at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport, and other interested parties, raised concerns about usage and leasing of privately owned hangars on MAC reliever airport property. The individual alleged conflict of interest and violation of MAC policies regarding hangar leasing and misuse of hangars for personal living, non-aviation storage, and business operations. As a result, we performed an investigation to answer the following questions:
Overall, we did not find evidence of widespread problems with MAC reliever airport hangar leasing and use. The commission properly awarded ground space leases and, for the most part, tenants stored aircraft and aviation-related items in their hangars. However, we made some suggestions for improvements in MAC's practices for monitoring ground leases and hangar use.
Aircraft storage leases were properly offered to those on waiting lists. However, the commission did not execute one lease until after the hangar was constructed. Also, the subsequent transfer of the same lease was not done in a timely manner, creating the impression that those on the waiting list were not given proper priority. Since this incident, MAC has initiated a tracking system for monitoring unexecuted leases.
From our inspection of 54 hangars, we found that owners were mainly storing aircraft and aviation-related items in the hangars. The reliever airport staff adequately enforced compliance with MAC requirements when issues and concerns came to their attention. However, we noted the following concerns: