WHEELING -- Private jet charter and jet aircraft management company N-Jet is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The company traces its origin to 1979, when the Northern Illinois Flying Club was formed with one Cessna aircraft at a small grass strip on the Wisconsin-Illinois border. More and larger aircraft joined the club in the early years and NIFC moved to Lake in the Hills Airport to accommodate the growth. In the mid '80s, the name was changed to Northern Illinois Flight Center, keeping its original initials,
NIFC provided maintenance, flight school and private aircraft charter services. The charter operation began to grow with a King Air Turboprop, and later a Falcon 50 corporate jet was added. With that addition, the company moved to Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling in 2002. N-Jet still has a maintenance facility at the airport for its fleet and other operators.
According to the company, the name N-Jet came from the call sign assigned by the FAA, which is used when pilots communicate with air traffic control. The FAA came up with "ENJET", which the company hadn't requested, therefore the "E" was dropped and the company officially became N-Jet.