Helicopter Association International (HAI) celebrates 75 Years of advancing vertical aviation worldwide
Alexandria, Va. 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 Dec. 13, 1948, by a visionary group of 16 individuals who formed 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.
Marking this significant milestone, HAI President and CEO James Viola expresses the organization’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 organization 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,” says Viola.
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 programs. 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 for the organization. HAI supports or leads international and national vertical flight safety programs, such as the Vertical Aviation Safety Team and US Helicopter Safety Team, and producing programs and educational content available to the industry at https://rotor.org/safety/.
Moreover, the organization actively engages with the media, public, and its membership to advance and shape the industry. HAI unflaggingly promotes vertical aviation to the media and public, keeping members 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, the world’s largest trade show, conference, and education event for vertical aviation, provides a platform for industry professionals to network, showcase innovations, and learn from experts.
Additionally, HAI’s working groups facilitate collaboration and the exchange of ideas, further fostering the growth and innovation of vertical aviation.
“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,” adds 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.”
HAI is the professional trade association for the global helicopter industry and represents more than 1,100 companies and over 16,000 industry professionals in more than 65 countries. Each year, HAI members safely operate more than 3,700 helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft approximately 2.9 million hours. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective business tool that provides unique advantages to society and to the advancement of the international vertical aviation community.