Helicopter Association International (HAI) is proud to commemorate its 75th anniversary, marking three quarters of a century dedicated to growing, shaping, protecting and strengthening the international vertical aviation industry. Founded on 13 December, 1948 as the Helicopter Council, HAI has since evolved into a global force representing thousands of operators, pilots, maintenance technicians, manufacturers and suppliers across 65 countries.
Over the decades, the association has tirelessly advocated for the vertical aviation industry before governments at the international to local levels. Its mission remains unwavering: 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.
HAI president and CEO James Viola expresses the organisation's deep gratitude for the support and dedication of its members and partners: "Seventy five years ago, a small group of visionaries had the foresight to establish an organisation that would become the beacon for the vertical aviation industry. 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."
HAI's impact extends far beyond advocacy alone. The association is dedicated to improving safety and operations within the industry through a wide range of educational programmes. These initiatives not only benefit HAI members but also contribute to enhancing safety standards for the entire vertical aviation community.
For much of the past 75 years, HAI's focus on flight safety and the goal of eliminating fatal accidents globally has remained a significant, continual mission. HAI supports or leads international and national vertical flight safety programmes, such as the Vertical Aviation Safety Team and US Helicopter Safety Team, and producing programmes and educational content available to the industry.
Moreover, the organisation actively engages with the media, public and its membership to advance and shape the industry, keeping them informed on key industry trends, best practices and news.
HAI also offers numerous avenues for connection, engagement and leadership development. Notably the annual HAI Heli-Expo, which provides a platform for industry professionals to network, showcase innovations and learn from experts. Additionally, its working groups facilitate collaboration and the exchange of ideas.
"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," Viola adds. "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."