Instructors

Basic ASOS

Benedict D. Castellano
Airport Safety Consultants, LLC

Mr. Castellano has 50 years of experience in aviation industry, ranging from airport management to aviation regulations. He spent 5 years in the US Air Force as a combat crew member in the Strategic Air Command. Benedict spent several years in airport administration, he worked at Washington National Airport as the Special Assistant to the Airport Manager and Senior Operations Supervisor at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Benedict is currently the primary instructor to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, teaching a 3-day program on Airport Certification. He previously taught the Airport Safety and Operations Specialist Schools in Key West, Florida, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Buffalo, New York.

Mr. Castellano had an industrious 34 year career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), before retiring in 2008. While in the FAA, Benedict held positions like National Resource Expert for Airport Safety and Certification, Manager of the Airport Safety and Certification Branch, and Acting Manager of Airport Safety and Operations Division. Some of his responsibilities while in these positions were:

  • Being designated as the national expert for airport safety certification under 14 CFR Part 139.
  • Overseeing the implementation of the Airport Certification Program, 14 CFR part 139 and the writing of the regulation.  
  • His office provided all the policies and procedures for implementation of the regulation and for the inspection of the civilian airports by FAA Airport Certification Safety Inspectors.
  • Developed the national policy and guidelines for the implementation of the Airport Master Record Program, the Wildlife Hazard Management Program, the Airport Compliance Program.
  • Being the official 2007 FAA Airports contact for the ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program.

After retirement in 2008, Mr. Castellano founded Airport Safety Consultants, LLC. Through Airport Safety Consultants, Benedict was involved in the writing of several Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) projects. He served as the technical expert under a subcontract for a U.S. Trade and Development Agency Orientation Visit for a group of airport officials from China studying airport emergency planning.

Advanced ASOS

Chief (RET.) James "JIM" Nilo, C.M., ACE

Jim started his airport career as a Crash Fire Rescue crewman in the United State Marine Corps in 1984. While serving on active duty he also became a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in Northern Virginia. At the end of his tour of duty in the Marines, Jim went to work for the newly created Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire Department as a Firefighter/EMT and was stationed at the Washington National Airport.

In late 1990, Jim continued his career and went to work for the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Services in a municipal role. During this time Jim became highly involved with local fire training and also became an Adjunct Instructor for the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Fire Programs where he continues to teach as a part time instructor to this day. Jim’s passion for training was strong and in 1994 he began working full time for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs as a regional training manager where he coordinated state sponsored training programs for over 30 localities. Part of his duties included course development and with his ARFF background he worked on the development of the states ARFF Program where he was instrumental in the acquisition of Virginia’s first mobile aircraft live fire trainer, the first of its kind. Jim was later moved to the Richmond office where he ran the ARFF program and coordinated much of the training program development for the Agency. During this time Jim was recognized for his work in the ARFF field and received several awards including Virginia Aviation Person of the Year in 1998.

Near the end of 1999, Jim accepted a position with the Capital Region Airport Commission as the Fire Chief for the Richmond International Airport in Richmond, Virginia. Post 9/11 the ARFF department was needed to perform many airport operations functions and in 2004 Jim’s job duties were greatly expanded to include oversight and management of the airports ARFF, Communications, Grounds, Equipment Maintenance, Communications, and Operations Departments. With this expanded role Jim supervised much of the airports daily operation which included many safety and security related duties. Jim held the position of ARFF Chief and Airport Operations Manager at RIC for the next 13 years and retired from active public service in early 2016.

Jim has attained numerous airport plus Fire and EMS certifications and has even taught at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. His service career included involvement in many organizations such as the Virginia Fire Services Council, National Fire Protection Association, and the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Working Group (ARFFWG) where Jim was a board member and one time Chairman.

Jim and his wife and two Great Danes reside just south of Fredericksburg, Virginia.