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National Fire Protection Association

Below is the contact information for the National Fire Protection Association. As you read the NATA Action Call you will see the need for comment. Please take a few moments to read and then react by letter and/or e-mail.
Contact information for NFPA:


Mr. Timothy A. Hawthorne
National Fire Protection Association
Airport Facilities Committee NFPA 409
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA  02169-7471
nfpa409@nfpa.org

CONTACT THE NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION TO REQUEST EXTENSION ON NEW FOAM FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM REQUIREMENT!

January 22, 2009

What’s at Issue
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which develops building fire codes including requirements for aircraft hangars, recently proposed new technical changes that will affect aircraft hangar owners.

Background
The NFPA is widely recognized as the authority for the development and implementation of fire building codes. For the general aviation industry, NFPA 409 provides fire codes for all aircraft hangars in most jurisdictions throughout the United States. Specifically, general aviation entities adhere to fire code requirements for Group II hangars (hangars that are over 12,000 square feet with hangar doors 28 feet high or less) and Group III hangars (hangars that are less than 12,000 square feet) under NFPA 409.

Why It’s Important
NFPA 409 currently mandates that aircraft hangar owners incorporate foam fire suppression systems requiring an enormous amount of water and that the foam and water be collected in a cistern or other safe containment device. These two requirements already place a huge financial burden on aircraft owners, equaling the cost of the aircraft hangar itself by some estimates. New technical changes to this mandate make these requirements even more onerous to small businesses that have aircraft hangars. The pending March 6, 2009 comment period deadline to address these technical changes limits the amount of time the general aviation industry has to review, prepare and submit its concerns.

What to Do
Contact the NFPA today utilizing the association’s form letter, if you are a member of NATA,  requesting a six-month extension to the March 6, 2009 comment period deadline. The form letter also requests that the NFPA convene a group of general aviation aircraft hangar owners and their professional organizations to review and develop a new code appropriate to our industry, accounting for implementation cost and benefit.

NATA Position
The NFPA 409 code is incredibly complicated according to experts and is interpreted differently throughout the country. Aircraft hangar owners, most of whom operate small businesses, continue to find this requirement’s cost impractical and not justifiable. The new technical changes will only add additional cost for small businesses. The NFPA must consider the impact this requirement will have on small businesses and convene a special group of general aviation aircraft hangar owners to review and develop a new code appropriate to our industry.

Status
Contact the NFPA today to ask for an extension to the March 6, 2009 comment deadline and request that the general aviation community have a seat at the table in the development of a new code appropriately scaled to the aircraft hangars used in the general aviation industry.