Airport Spotlight on Retiring FAA Air Traffic Controller Hank Hermosillo
After proudly serving the Chicago Executive Airport for 12 years, Hank Hermosillo will retire this month from the FAA servicing CEA. During this time demonstrating his impeccable talent and skills required for the job, and an integral part of CEA’s top safety rating in the industry.
Prior to becoming an air traffic controller in 1999, he served in the Navy and later worked for the U.S. Postal Service. His time as an air traffic controller included work in Amarillo, TX, the Lake Front area of New Orleans, and Madison, Wisconsin, before joining the CEA in 2011.
Hank became known as one of the most trusted air traffic controllers among regular pilots who fly into CEA. He lived by the mantra “you’re going to get home safe” as he entered work each day, which was demonstrated in his successful career.
As he’s leaving CEA, he shares some of his favorite memories about the airport.
“Andrew, Norm and all the guys that worked here made our jobs fun,” said Hank. “We had a really great rapport with each other, and it was fun any time I was interacting with them.”
He also praised the award-winning snow removal team, calling them the best in the nation, citing how they tirelessly work through the Chicago winter to ensure safe environments for the planes.
Hank also mentioned he’ll miss the incredible events hosted at the airport, including Run the Runway and Rock the Runway.
“The CEA team is always professional, everything the airport does has been spectacular,” Hank said. “When you get to do what you love, and I loved doing it, I’m going to miss the heck out of it.”
Hank plans to stay local after retirement and explore other opportunities, including the possibility of becoming an instructor. He also shares some wisdom and advice for future air traffic controllers.
“Don’t be afraid to take a chance, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” Hank said. “When a pilot is clearly disoriented or confused, and you hear it in their voice after they safely land how grateful they are that you kept them safe, that’s worth it beyond words.”