Rob Mark has made his “mark” on the aviation world work as a writer, editor and blogger. Currently Senior Editor for Flying magazine, and publisher of Jet Whine blog, Mark shares his passion for aviation with all of us.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Rob Mark returned from four years of service in Viet Nam to become an air traffic controller at Palwaukee Airport (now Chicago Executive Airport) in Wheeling Illinois. He worked for the FAA for 10 years as a controller and then as a supervisor.
Mark earned his private pilot certificate at the old Sky Harbor Airport, and then while working as a controller completed his instrument, commercial license and multi-engine training with Priester Aviation, and then added on his certified flight instructor airplane, instrument and multi-engine at DuPage. He began flying business jets from Palwaukee and Waukegan Airports, both as a Part 91 pilot and as an on-demand Part 135 charter pilot. He later flew turboprops for the original Midway Airlines out of Midway Airport. While gaining all of this experience in aviation, Rob Mark also wrote articles for aviation publications.
After Midway Airlines closed, Rob Mark decided to return to school, earning a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He later returned to Northwestern for six years to teach in the journalism program. Needing to reduce his flying time and use his writing skills, Mark created CommAvia, a media company that handled public relations for a number of airports around the country. CommAvia handled public relations for Chicago Executive Airport (formerly Palwaukee Airport) between 2002 -2007 and again from 2013- 2018. During this time period, he created an educational outreach program between the airport and the local high school district.
During the CommAvia years, Mark continued to write articles for AOPA Pilot, Air Line Pilot and Flying magazines. After 25 years in the public relations business, Mark closed CommAvia to accept a position as senior editor with Flying magazine, more recently acting as the magazine’s editor in chief. In 2009 and 2018, he received the NBAA’s Gold Wing award for Outstanding Journalism.
On a local note, Mark has served on the board of the Chicago Executive Pilots Association (CEPA) for several years, presenting programs for pilots at the CEPA monthly meetings and their IMC Club meetings. Most recently, he lead a team of six people in developing a plan of action and providing constant public pressure to convince the airport board of Chicago Executive Airport not to close Runway 6/24. He also provides support for the 99s Chicago Aviation EXPO and IFR/VFR seminar programs, and has provided photography and publicity for the 99s Annual Girl Scout Aviation Badge Day on several occasions.
The Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame honors Rob Mark for his contributions to aviation journalism on a national level, and his local Illinois contributions to aviation programs and the Chicago Executive Pilots Association.