2017 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Nicholas A. Belluardo, C.M.

Nov. 3, 2017

Nicholas A. Belluardo, C.M.
Airport Planning Coordinator, Cleveland Airport System
Co-Founder, AeroTrek Flight Academy
Co-Founder, Flight Services of Wadsworth 
AGE: 25

  • Alma Mater:Kent State University
  • What is your dream job?: While my team and I manage one airport now, I look forward to managing multiple general aviation airports under one company.
  • Who has impacted your career the most? David Poluga, manager of Kent State University Airport, followed by a close tie between Justin Heid, and Matt McVicker. Having the support of all three of these gentlemen gave me the confidence to charge head first into this wild industry. Day or night, I know I can call upon any of these guys. When you’re jumping into the deep end; that kind of support is huge.
  • If I could go anywhere, it would be: Bora Bora. Its been on the bucket list for quite a while.
  • If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead: It would be with my mother, pretty sure I owe her one.
  • Favorite airport restaurant/eatery: There's no better place than the Tin Goose Diner at the Erie- Ottawa International Airport.

Nicolas Belluardo can pinpoint the moment his interest sparked in aviation.

While he was in sixth grade, Belluardo was walking down a street talking with a graduating high school senior who was explaining air traffic control. Belluardo was fascinated by the topic, so he began looking into it, which led to more facets of aviation.

Before Belluardo even graduated college he was hired as the manager of the Wadsworth Municipal Airport in Wadsworth, Ohio. Once he finished school, he was hired as airport manager for the Jefferson County Regional Airport Authority. In just one year in that position, Belluardo increased fuel sales, operations and was able to pass his AAAE-CM exam.

“It’s different everyday..and every day you go in as a GA manager and you don’t know what you’re getting into who was flying in who you’d meet that day and it was exciting,” he said. “It kept me wanting to go back.”

While transitioning from Jefferson County to a new position as an airport planner with Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) in 2016, Belluardo founded two companies-- AeroTrek Flight Academy and Flight Services of Wadsworth.

AeroTrek Flight Academy now has four training aircraft with two more on the way. AeroTrek employs six flight instructors, two of which are former Kent State students working their way to the airlines.

AeroTrek, offers the Aviation Merit Badge to local Boy Scout troops and assist in providing over 105 young eagles rides during a single event. AeroTrek flight instructors offer monthly FAA Safety Team courses to local pilots.

In July, Belluardo signed a three-year contract with the city of Wadsworth to manager and operate the airport. He employs an airport manager and a Kent State student who is studying aviation management.

Belluardo is active in the Ohio Aviation Association serving on the Educational Committee and Membership Committee. During the 2016 conference, he helped coordinate a student networking event, presented on “the college to career transition” and conducted mock interviews with students.

Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS