Chicago Executive Airport - Beacon Newsletter: Spring Announces Arrival of Hawthorne Global Aviation Services - CEA's 3rd FBO


Spring is a time of year when flower buds poke out from under the soil and young birds and other creatures mark their arrival into the world. This year the arrival of spring could not be more highly anticipated after such a harsh Midwest winter. However, at Chicago Executive Airport, the anticipation of spring included expectation of a new FBO opening.
Right on schedule, Hawthorne Global Aviation Services completed construction of the $8 million facility located at the southeast corner of the airport.
“It was on time and on budget,” Hawthorne General Manager David Annin said of construction which began with a groundbreaking last May 21. “We were fortunate to finish most of what needed to be done outside before the (winter) weather hit.”
Operation of CEA’s third FBO began on March 10, 2014. Hawthorne joins an aviation community that includes FBOs Atlantic Aviation and Signature Flight Support.
“It says a lot about the vitality of Chicago Executive Airport that Hawthorne chose us for the site of their new FBO,” said Acting Executive Director Jamie Abbott. “Their arrival here means that we now have three world class FBOs. It means that the general and business aviation communities will look to CEA as an increasingly attractive place to do business”.
As far as new FBOs go, this one is unique. FBO construction generally involves expansion of existing facilities or remodels of existing structures – not the case with Hawthorne Aviation’s new Chicago Executive FBO.
“What we’ve built here is considered a green-field development – a ground up development,” Annin said. “It’s the first green-field FBO development in the country in many years.”
With remodels and additions, existing structures place limitations on what architects can do with a project; they have to work with a relatively fixed template. With a green-field project, an architect is free to explore more possibilities. The result at CEA is a 10,000 square-foot terminal and a 30,000 square-foot hangar; Both are state of the art and designed to optimize efficiency and comfort.
The terminal is warm and inviting, from the natural wood and earth tone colors to the fireplace and the 21-foot ceiling. In terms of technology, the terminal is Wi-Fi accessible throughout. Computers are available for flight planning and weather tracking. It has comfortable pilot and passenger lounges, as well as a spacious conference room. The concierge service will help coordinate flights, arrange ground transportation, and hotel reservations, in addition to any other needs of our customers.
Superior service extends beyond the terminal into the hangar and onto the tarmac. Annin said they can provide service to any aircraft up to a Gulfstream G650. The hangar has a 160-foot door and can accommodate a wide mix of private and business aircraft for hangar storage. Ramp storage and tie down is also available.
State of the art amenities in the terminal are mirrored and complemented by cutting edge technology and brand-new equipment outdoors. The equipment is inclusive of lavatory carts, oxygen and nitrogen carts, ground power units and
new LEKTRO tugs for moving aircraft and pulling baggage. Hawthorne Aviation is a branded Shell Aviation fuel provider, offering both Jet A and 100LL gas. Annin said that a full complement of services is available around the clock at
He said that airport management and staff, as well as the CEA Board of Directors were fabulous to work
with throughout the entire development and construction process.
“We’re very fortunate to be a part of the Chicago Executive community,” Annin said, adding that Hawthorne’s goal is to be
a good neighbor on the airport and to the surrounding communities and provide the business and general aviation community superior service.
With that sentiment in mind, as they built their new FBO, Annin said Hawthorne had an eye for honoring the history of the airport. In front of the new terminal is a brick monument topped by a lighted beacon. The bricks came from Hangar No. 1 that used to occupy the same location on the airfield. The beacon was on top of the old tower that stood next to Hangar No.1.
Hawthorne is headquartered in Charleston, SC, and has FBOs in New Orleans and Long Island, NY. Annin said that, while Hawthorne currently has no new construction news to announce at other airports, the company has a strategy of growth and acquisition. As for the role Hawthorne Aviation will play at CEA, Annin would not comment on current or future tenants the company will bring to the airport. He insisted, however, that their goal is to contribute positively to the growth of the airport. “We’re not here to divvy up pieces of the pie but to add to the size of the pie,” Annin said.
Other members of the CEA community have indicated they welcome Hawthorne to the family. “We certainly welcome them to the airport,” said Mike Kurgan, General Manager of Atlantic Aviation at Chicago Executive. “They seem like they’re going to be a good neighbor and tenant to the airport and the community.”
(2014, April-May Newsletter). Spring Announces Arrival of Hawthorne Global Aviation Services. Chicago Executive Airport Beacon Newsletter. Retrieved April 11, 2014, from