Sept. 14, 2016

Business aviation professionals become Certified Aviation Managers (CAMs) for a wide variety of reasons, such as to sharpen management skills and enhance resumes. For Aaron Redlaczyk, the certification offers these and something more – a way to make his dream of becoming an aviation director a reality.

Currently serving as the director of maintenance and business operations with Johnson Controls, Redlaczyk has spent his entire professional life in aviation. He began his career as an Air Force avionics technician, then transitioned into the private sector with stints at USA Jet Airlines, Ford Motor Company, Dassault Falcon Jet and Pratt & Whitney.

It was while working at Ford that his career aspirations became more concrete, and he started to explore ways to achieve his goal.

“When I was at Ford, which was my first true flight department, I really enjoyed it and I wanted to aspire to move up to a director role,” said Redlaczyk. “I went back to school at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to work on my master’s degree, and at the same time I started looking at what was out there with NBAA, and the CAM was fairly new then. It looked very interesting and a good certification to have as you move up into a director role.”

The CAM exam went on the backburner as life took a few twists and turns in the subsequent years, but after joining Johnson Controls and completing his Master of Science in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle in 2014, Redlaczyk decided to pursue his certification.

“It was pretty challenging,” he said, but Redlaczyk passed in June 2016, crediting his managerial experience and recent studies as test-taking advantages.

“If someone is currently in school or has recently finished school in some sort of aviation degree, I’d tell them to take it sooner rather than later – as long as they meet all the criteria – while all that information and knowledge is fresh in their head,” he said.

Redlaczyk continues his work at Johnson Controls while keeping his eyes open for further career opportunities.

“If someone’s been around for quite some time, and they can’t seem to move their way up or get in the position they want, I would encourage them to take the test and get that certificate, because it could be that one item that helps them get to that new level,” he said.

In addition to Redlaczyk, the following people recently passed the CAM exam.

  • Jeremy Biederman
  • Michael Ellis
  • Michael Kellogg
  • Kevin M Messmer
  • Maximilian Tosti
  • Jimmie L Valentine

Learn more about NBAA’s CAM program.