John Emery: The Three C's are Key

According to John Emery, President of Emery Air, Inc., located at Northwest Chicagoland Regional Airport at Rockford, customer, community and collaboration are key. From it's beginning as a flight school to aircraft management, Emery has grown a family...


John C. Emery





Q.How did Emery Air, Inc. get it's start and what brought you to the industry 48 years ago?






Q.Who are your customers?

A. We service general aviation aircraft from Piper Cubs to privately owned Boeing 757s. We provide ground handling (fuel, emergency maintenance, deicing, catering, baggage and cargo handling, passenger counter service including Ground Security Coordinators, lavatory service and potable water service) for diversions by major airlines, for chartered cargo flights, for scheduled cargo flights and passenger charter flights.

Q.What are some of the challenges you face in your day to day?

A.Cost is always a factor. We must keep the cost low to attract flights that could go to other airports like Chicago, Milwaukee or Madison. Training is a big challenge. We use a number of different training aids like the NATA Safety 1st program. We also attend training programs offered by the major carriers. Because most of the flights we handle are unscheduled, manpower is a challenge.

Q.What are some changes/trends you?ve seen in ground support at Emery?

A.Cost, ground support equipment has improved over the years, but has also increased in cost. It is difficult to justify purchasing a piece of equipment like an airstart cart that may only be used a few times a year. Line service technicians are very well trained today. The training programs available are extremely good and training is one aspect of our business that is easy to justify. Since 9/11 insurance has become a major challenge. Not just the cost, but also the ability to obtain the coverage required by some of the major carriers. Obtaining the proper insurance at a reasonable price is not impossible, but it takes a great deal of time and energy.

Q.What do you feel the future holds for Emery Air, Inc.?

A.Emery has a bright future. Over the years, Emery has become the most experienced, reliable provider of aviation services in the area. Because we are located at one of the finest, best equipped airports in the Midwest, we have positioned ourselves to service the needs of all aircraft owners, operators and travelers.

Congestion at the major airports in the Chicago area, combined with the higher costs to operate from those airports, makes the Northwest Chicagoland Regional Airport at Rockford an attractive option. Population growth and the migration of businesses and families from the Chicago area insures growth. We provide the majority of the services at the airport so we will grow as the airport grows. Emery, our airport management and the community are doing everything we can to increase the activity at our airport. What is good for our customers, is good for the airport, the city, the Northern Illinois Southern Wisconsin area and for Emery Air, Inc. (emeryair.net)

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