HAI Celebrates 75 Years

The organization represents operators, pilots, maintenance technicians, manufacturers, and suppliers in the vertical aviation industry.

Helicopter Association International (HAI), a professional trade association for the global helicopter industry, is marking its 75th anniversary on Wednesday.

Founded by 16 individuals on December 13, 1948, HAI now represents more than 1,100 companies and more than 16,000 people. The organization’s mission is “to provide opportunities for current and future forms of vertical aviation to flourish through advocacy, connection, and collaboration while elevating safety throughout the global industry.” 

According to HAI, its members, which include operators, pilots, maintenance technicians, manufacturers, and suppliers in at least 65 countries, log approximately 2.9 million hours in more than 3,700 helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft annually.

“Seventy-five years ago, a small group of visionaries had the foresight to establish an organization that would become the beacon for the vertical aviation industry,” said HAI president and CEO James Viola. “Today, HAI stands as a testament to their vision and the collective efforts of our members, volunteers, and staff. We are thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to promote vertical aviation worldwide.”

Alongside its advocacy work, HAI offers educational programs and content, provides scholarship opportunities, and leads safety programs such as the Vertical Aviation Safety Team and U.S. Helicopter Safety Team. It also runs working groups to “facilitate collaboration and the exchange of ideas.”

In addition, HAI hosts an annual trade show, Heli-Expo, which it calls “the world’s largest trade show, conference, and education event for vertical aviation.” The 2023 event welcomed more than 12,400 industry professionals from 97 countries, featuring 639 exhibitors and 49 aircraft. Heli-Expo 2024 is scheduled for February 26-29 in Anaheim, California.

“Looking to the future, HAI remains committed to the industry while embracing the expansion and development of new aircraft, infrastructure, and uses for vertical flight,” said Viola. “Our core mission is and will remain: to support our members and promote vertical aviation’s critical role in creating safe, prosperous, and connected communities around the world.”


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