Helicopter Association International (HAI) has hired Michael J. Hertzendorf (US Army, retired) as VP of operations. Hertzendorf will oversee HAI’s work for its members in flight operations, maintenance and technology, safety and education. He will also work closely with HAI’s government affairs department to ensure HAI members across the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) industry are protected from overburdensome regulations.
After a 29-year career in the US Army as a special operations aviator, Hertzendorf most recently served as CEO of NUAIR (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research), where he was responsible for the integration, synchronisation and execution of all activities necessary to develop a national US UAS traffic management system within New York State’s 50-mile UAS corridor. His background in both manned aviation and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has provided him with a unique perspective.
“Mike brings an exciting skill set to HAI, and we’re very happy that he joined us,” says James Viola, president and CEO of HAI. “This is a great time of excitement in the international VTOL industry; exciting and challenging, as we integrate an entirely new class of aircraft into the airspace while ensuring the safety of current operators. Mike’s history as an army aviator and leader, along with his work at NUAIR, means that he understands the issues and can represent the needs of both groups.”
“I’m excited to join the HAI team in these unprecedented times for aviation,” adds Hertzendorf. “I look forward to advancing HAI’s global presence as well as incorporating future VTOL platforms. With their experience in rotorcraft and low-altitude operations, HAI members are well positioned to take advantage of advancements in VTOL technology that I believe will ultimately improve the economic viability of our industry.”
Viola concludes: “Our operations department is vitally important to HAI’s mission, which is to support and promote the VTOL industry. With their many years of experience on the flight line and in the hangar, our operations staff have the expertise to confront the day-to-day issues that face commercial and general aviation operators, as well as manufacturers. Our restructuring of the department will help HAI to better serve the needs of our members and to promote a safe, efficient and economically viable operating environment for the VTOL industry.”