Venice, Florida Hangar Tenants Push For Access Eight Days After Hurricane Ian


Hurricane Ian swept through southwestern Florida more than a week ago, but hangar tenants at Venice Airport are still being denied access to their aircraft and hangars. In a letter to airport management, the airport’s tenant association complained that the city is giving higher priority to the city’s insurer than to tenants and users.

“We also appreciate the challenges facing airport staff. Nevertheless, the actions denying total access to the T-Hangar area is, in our opinion, an overreaction that protects the interest of the insurance company without regard to the interest of the tenants,” said Dave Wimberly, president of the Venice Airport Society Inc., the airport’s user association. “Some undamaged airplanes are in damaged hangars and owners should be allowed to remove those aircraft before further problems occur. Pathways in and out would need to be cleared. These tenants may wish to remove their aircraft from this area to a completely different area where they have hangar access. Some airplanes are only slightly damaged and special care must be taken to ensure those aircraft are not further damaged,” Wimberly added.

Hurricane Ian struck Venice on Sept. 28, causing widespread damage in the region, including hangar structures at Venice. Venice has 14 hangar bays. An aerial photo taken a day after the storm revealed that one was nearly destroyed and as many as seven others may have lost doors or had other damage. The airport said the structural integrity of some of the hangars was unknown, but initially it offered to drive owners past their hangars for an exterior inspection, but wouldn’t allow owners to exit the vehicles. Several of the hangars are built to newer code standards and appear intact. Those owners are also locked out.

On Friday afternoon, airport director Mark Cervasio said the city’s insurer had a team assessing hangar stability with an emphasis on which hangars are safe to open and use. The airport has also agreed to let owner insurance adjustors inspect damaged aircraft to speed claims filing. He said owners could accompany the adjustors. If hangars aren’t safe to enter, the city’s insurance agents will collect and inventory contents and place them in secure containers for owners to claim.

T-hangars at nearby Punta Gorda were also off-limits for a time because of lack of power. The airport has since reopened access to tenants and airline service has resumed. The T-hangar complex as Punta Gorda was rebuilt after hurricane Charley in 2004. They suffered only minor damage. However, some larger commercial hangars were seriously damaged by winds that were reported to peak at 155 MPH.  

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. Hi Paul, I just flew in today at around 4pm. I was denied access to my hangar. I was told that they are not sure if my newly built hangar is safe to occupy. I had to tie down at Suncoast and pay them for my weeks stay. I think the city should pick up the tab since I already paid the rent for the month, but I highly doubt that will happen.

  2. “If hangars aren’t safe to enter, the city’s insurance agents will collect and inventory contents and place them in secure containers for owners to claim.”

    Now that’s funny. It’s almost as if they don’t realize that there is more than the airplane in a hangar. I had two, full toolboxes in mine. Are they going to inventory the contents of each toolbox or just say “Empty toolbox”.

  3. The storm was Sept.28. I was at the airport in my damaged hangar with my plane that is total loss every day starting on the morning of Sept. 29 through Oct.3, at noon on Oct.3, airport personnel came rushing in with blinking lights and said that I must leave now, because it is dangerous. Why did it take four and one half days? Could it be that it was not dangerous the Sept 28-Oct? Wow!

  4. I did my license at Venice on an Aronca 7AC. So I have some fond memories at this airport. It sounds almost like a joke, when I read this. It is like the “authorities” know more than anyone else when it comes to risk management. First off everything is denied before we can do anything. It is the helicopter gvmt that is causing this kind of situation. We have no rights no more. We are guilty and have to prove we are not guilty. We have to ask for everything… Responsibility is no more a right that we have. It is fading in all areas, even when it comes to health especially. We are assumed to be sick and have to prove to be healthy by testing with a test that causes great mounds of trash and in the end proves nothing or helps very little. Common sense has left the house. Mandates all over the place… And this is happening world wide. It is time that we as individuals take our responsibilities back and stop the encroachment of our liberties as a “Mensch” or creation of God in his image. It is so sad to see how it is undermining everything and stealing our God given rights.

    • Nah… it’s just hyper sensitivity to the risk someone will trip on a piece of blown in FOD and sue for a gazillion. Are any attorney’s turned buzzards circling around the airports or parts of town hit by surge and/or winds? Beth there are…

  5. With government (FBI, ATF, DEA, and local police) now openly robbing people, all they need is to claim someone at the airport involved with renting was involved with some crime and they can take your airplane and any property there in the rental.
    That is the case law out of California…
    Maybe they are trying to figure out how to steal your property.