HAI Rebrands as Vertical Aviation International

The nonprofit trade organization says the new name is part of a ‘transformative journey.’

This year’s event from included the announcement that Helicopter Association International (HAI) was rebranding as Vertical Aviation International. [Courtesy: VAI]

Helicopter Association International, the nonprofit trade organization founded 75 years ago, announced Tuesday that it had rebranded as Vertical Aviation International (VAI) due to the evolving vertical aviation industry. 

Board chair Nicole Battjes and president and CEO James Viola said in a letter to VAI members that the name change was made to reflect the “wave of expansion” being ushered in by new aircraft and technology. They said the new moniker is part of a “transformative journey” but promised members the group’s commitment to the industry wouldn’t change. 

“While our name and appearance have evolved, the most important change is our expanded focus,” the executives’ letter read. “We support all aircraft capable of vertical or short takeoff and landing—and yes, that absolutely includes helicopters. Those aircraft complete missions that no other aircraft can accomplish, and we are proud to represent them.”

The VAI leaders said the rebrand will better serve vertical aviation communities and enable the organization to better work with legislators and regulators. 

With the change also comes a new name for the organization's annual conference and trade show, which will now be called VERTICON. 

Brinley Hineman covers general assignment news. She previously worked for the USA TODAY Network, Newsday and The Messenger. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and is from West Virginia. She lives in Brooklyn with her poodle Franklin.

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