Emery Air is located at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport. The airport’s roots go back to early WWII days when it was known as Camp Grant. At the end of the war, in 1946, that land was turned into the Rockford Airport, and has been located here since then, expanding many times, to include its modern day 10,002’ and 8200’ runways, suitable for just about any aircraft in the world.
In 1958, Lew Emery founded the first flight school at the Rockford airport. That operation eventually became a full-service FBO, including maintenance, air charter and had a major role providing service to the rapidly expanding airline industry. About this time, the airport changed its name to the Greater Rockford Airport.
In 1960, Ira Hartzog formed Hartzog Aviation and acquired the former Illini Aviation, becoming one of the first distributors for Beech Aircraft in the Midwest. To this day, Emery Air is one of the most well-established Beechcraft Service Centers.
Concurrently, in 1972, the Thomas family created the Poplar Grove Airport just east of Rockford. Since then, it has grown to include 3 runways, and is home to Poplar Grove Airmotive, one of the most respected piston aircraft engine maintenance facilities in the US. It is also home to Bel Air Estates, a fly-in residential community. Nearly 180 families call the airport “home”. The airport now has nearly 400 aircraft based at it, making it one of the busiest General Aviation airports in the state.
In 1985, Hartzog Aviation was sold to Beech Holdings (Raytheon Aircraft Corporation). The facility became a Beech factory-owned and operated Factory Service Center.
In 1994, UPS opened what has become their second largest air freight and sorting operation in the world at RFD. Emery Air continues to provide ground support services to UPS to this day.
In 1998, the Thomas family, owners of the Poplar Grove Airport, bought Emery Air Charter, expanding their offerings in the Rockford area. That tradition of a family-owned business continues today.
Then in 2003, Emery Air Charter acquired the Raytheon facility, consolidating all the services, and becoming one of the largest aviation service companies in the Midwest. The name was changed to Emery Air, Inc., to reflect their wide range of services.
In 2006, Emery Air expanded again, adding Regional Airline service, and now specializes in the Embraer and Bombardier CRJ family of regional airliners, as well as other corporate/RJ maintenance.
In 2015, Emery Air became a Williams International Elite Service Center.
In 2015, Emery Air was awarded contracts for fuel and maintenance for Elite Airways.
Today, Emery Air continues to be a premier aviation company, providing business and airline repair services, FBO and fueling operations, air cargo support, along with airline and UPS support services. Poplar Grove Airmotive continues as a well-respected piston airframe and engine repair facility, as well as being an active flight school in the Rockford area.