REIDsteel Terminal Hangar at Biggin Hill Airport REIDsteel

Building Aircraft Hangars To Meet Demands Of Weather, Customization

REIDsteel’s near-century of experience has taught important lessons about aircraft hangar design.

If the recent surge of record-breaking hurricanes in the Caribbean has taught structural designers anything, it is that the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions is of the utmost importance. REIDsteel, which has been designing and building bespoke aircraft hangars for 90 years, has a long history of building structures in areas of the world that experience intense weather conditions. The company touts its ability to design structures to withstand high wind speeds, earthquakes and arctic snow loads.

According to REIDsteel, dozens of its buildings in the Caribbean were tested against the recent onslaught of hurricanes but remained standing. Some of the company's design features include curved roofs and its patented V brace tied portal and union jack bracing system that are designed to keep buildings rigid against the strongest winds.


One of REIDsteel’s recent completed projects was a helicopter hangar at Scatsta Airport in the Shetland Isles. The location experiences hurricane force winds and snow in the winter, so the ability to withstand a harsh environment was crucial. The hangar features manually operated doors clad in vertically laid composite panels, a roof with polycarbonate Safespan factory sealed lights to provide natural light within the hangar and permanent all round roof edge protection. REIDsteel says the two-span hangar is an example of how materials, coatings and design elements can be tailored to suit the toughest environments.

The ability to withstand weather is just one of the factors that goes into a REIDsteel aircraft hangar design. The company has seen a trend of demand for larger, more complex hangars, particularly for private airfields. Clients have increasingly asked for extra facilities included within the structure, such as VIP lounges, training facilities and offices, rather than basic storage and MRO facilities. 

The company expects this demand to continue and has seen strong demand for specialized and complex hangars.


Customization like this was seen in a terminal hangar project recently completed by REIDsteel at Biggin Hill Airport just outside of London. The project required a 120 meter (393.7 ft.) span hangar split into three areas, two of which needed to be accessible simultaneously, with a maximum height of 15 meters (49.2 ft.). One span also needed to house a business jet. The solution the company came up with was a hangar door featuring nine panels and three tracks with a tailgate door. The company is building a 60,000 sq. ft. parking hangar at Biggin Hill Airport.


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