What began in 1925 as Gauthier's Flying Field has evolved to its current state as Chicago Executive Airport. All along, it's been referred to as Palwaukee Municipal and somewhere in the middle of its development it passed through the hands of the Priester Aviation family. The Palwaukee was purchased by Priester Aviation for business jet charter service in 1953, and from the time of this acquisition to its transfer into the public domain 33 years later, it was continually developed to meet the needs of a changing world. Priester's private plane charter company that occupied Palwaukee during those years enhanced the airport with lighting on a paved runway, a DC-3 hangar, three additional runways, a VOR approach, and then, in 1965, corporate hangars and a 5,000-foot runway.
Shortly after the new 5,000-foot runway was built at Palwaukee in 1965, the FAA commissioned Palwaukee's first air traffic control tower. The private plane charter company required and installed a 1,600 foot partial taxi runway that ran parallel to Runway 16/34 about seven years after the tower was erected. The airport was acquired by nearby communities in this region of Chicago, jet charter business for the Priesters continued to expand, and the face of traveling for business has been shifting ever since.
Nowadays, things are different. No longer is the Palwaukee Municipal Airport privately owned by Priester Aviation. No longer does this Chicago jet charter company have a fleet of seven aircraft. And it is no longer the case that the third generation of the Priester family teaches 8th grade science. Of course, Priester Aviation, LLC is still based at Palwaukee, where George Priester launched the service over 60 years ago. And the fleet has grown much larger to accommodate a wider customer base and a greater demand for flexible, responsive service. Finally, Andrew Priester, grandson of George, has left the classroom and is applying his passion for flying to providing business executives with great, global private air charter service.