Aug. 10, 2017

Matt IrvineBecoming a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) isn’t easy – but neither is aviation management. Both require a commitment to learning, in detail, the wide array of responsibilities required to run an aviation department, from operational best practices to budgetary and legal considerations.

When Matt Irvine began preparing for the CAM exam last December, he said, “It seemed like a good next step to develop my knowledge base in aviation management and prepare for future responsibilities and roles.”

He found himself impressed by the sheer amount of study material, and with so many reference texts and a seemingly endless number of managerial duties to memorize, he devised a strategy to tackle the material.

“I put myself back in college mode,” said Irvine, standardization captain at PMI Global Services Inc. “It’s a cliché, but the first step is the hardest, so I just opened the first book and started reading.”

Four months of 15-hour study weeks later, Irvine successfully completed the exam and earned his certification. Along the way, through exhaustive reading, diligent note-taking and deploying a few study tricks, such as developing a hierarchy of reference materials based on how frequently they appeared in the sample test, he found the preparatory experience had given him a well-balanced understanding of the skills and abilities required of an aviation manager.

“The breadth of information you need to become familiar with has opened my eyes tremendously to the number of different facets involved with managing a flight department,” he said.

Not only is this knowledge applicable in Irvine’s current day-to-day duties, but he says it’s also helped him understand what will be demanded in the future as he takes on additional managerial responsibilities. He credits PMI Global Services with developing a culture that emphasizes the value of professional development and looks to pass that on as his career continues to ascend.

“Based on my experience with the CAM process, I would strongly suggest aviation professionals interested in management to pursue certification,” he said. “For anybody who’s trying to build their business aviation career with a management goal, I think it’s critical.”

Learn more about NBAA’s CAM program.