Chicago Executive Airport Approves Brigadoon Aviation Project

Chicago Executive Airport Approves Brigadoon Aviation Project

In mid-March, Chicago Executive Airport (PWK) in Wheeling, Ill., approved Brigadoon Aviation LLC’s new five-acre facility, which Ken Ross, its president, describes as a “private club-like facility.”

“Brigadoon will take up about 75,000 square feet of building space, inclusive of two 25,000-square-foot hangars and about 25,000 square feet for a new terminal and office space,” says Ross, who’s also president and CEO of air charter operator North American Jet Charter Group LLC.

He said Brigadoon’s five-star amenities will include a very light jet learning center with interactive Eclipse simulators.

“We’ll provide other types of interactive simulators as they become available in the market,” he said. “The facility will also offer total aircraft maintenance as a FAR Part 145 repair station, provide fueling services and will be a fixed base operation. This is no ‘fuel-up-pump-and-go.’ What we’re doing is state of the art. We’ll offer catering and much more.”

Ross said he’s raised in excess of $10.1 million for Brigadoon’s five-acre development, including parking facilities.

“The project, located at the east end of airport, is due to break ground in mid-2008 with occupancy by the end of 2009,” Ross said.

While the economy’s shaky, Ross said it hasn’t affected a good business plan for private aviation.

“Actually, this is a good time to do something like this,” he said. “Interest rates for a project like this are good; it makes sound business sense. I know private aviation is only going to grow. If you look at our air charter company, NAJCG, I believe it’s the largest managed fleet of Eclipse VLJs in the nation.”

NAJCG, also located at PWK, currently operates nine aircraft under FAR Part 135, including five Eclipse 500 VLJs. A sixth VLJ is on the way; the company plans to operate it from Boca Raton, Fla.

“By the end of the year, North American Jet Charter Group expects to operate in excess of 15 Eclipse jets,” Ross said.

He said all the company’s Eclipse aircraft are certified for reduced vertical minimum separation, which means being able to fly passengers up to 41,000 feet.

“Our on-demand charter service is successful,” he said. “Currently, we’re employing 20 full-time pilots and we intend to expand our managed fleet throughout the U.S.”

Ross, who holds a type rating in the Eclipse jet, said he’s flown the aircraft enough to know it’s a good plane. However, he’s hoping that Eclipse will soon obtain certification for flight into known icing and that the aircraft’s Avio NG avionics will become fully functional.

“Avio NG is missing some things, like coupled autopilot, weather reporting and navigational upgrades,” he said.

For now, Ross’ mind is on his new adventure at PWK; he can’t wait to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The Brigadoon Aviation project is exciting; the building is going to be gorgeous with a lot of windows,” he said. “This facility will add pizzazz and elegance to PWK, where everyone benefits.”

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