jmcdermott@postandcourier.com

Charleston’s Hawthorne Global Aviation Services is expanding into the Midwest by building an aircraft servicing business at Chicago Executive Airport.

The company said this week it has acquired the rights to become the “fixed base operator” at that site from Sovereign Development Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hawthorne said it plans to begin construction immediately. Completion is scheduled for 2014.

“The acquisition of the development rights for a new FBO at the Chicago Executive Airport establishes our presence in Chicago, a vibrant top three general aviation market,” said Steven Levesque, president and CEO of Hawthorne. “With this planned FBO, it broadens our geographic footprint of FBOs throughout the U.S. to now include the Midwest.”

FBOs provide plane owners and their crews with a variety of services, such as aircraft storage, fuel and ground transportation.

Chicago Executive is the fourth busiest airport in Illinois and is a general aviation reliever for the region, which includes O’Hare International Airport. It has three active runways on 412 acres and which handles privately owned planes.

Hawthorne Global Aviation Services was formed in 2010 by North Charleston-based Hawthorne Corp., which dates back to 1932, and the investment firm Moelis Capital.

The Chicago deal marks the venture’s third FBO. The others are at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans and at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y. The company said it plans to expand its footprint further.