In my travels, I hear one comment a lot: “I had no idea HAI did all that!” So I want to tell you about some — but certainly not all — of the ways HAI works for our members.
HAI advocates for:
- The safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the airspace and developing UAS operations as a viable business opportunity for our members
- Simplifying the certification process for single-engine instrument flight rules (IFR) operations
- The continued renewal of FAA Exemption No. 6002J, which allows pilots working for HAI member operators to remove and reinstall oxygen bottles in their aircraft
- Simplifying the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 27 and Part 29 relating to aircraft certification
- Military-to-civilian transition workshops and career fairs for pilots and maintenance personnel
- Promotion of our industry as a viable, rewarding career choice
- The HAI Accreditation Program of Safety, which promotes flying to a higher standard
- The HAI Safety Outreach program, providing free national and international safety workshops
- The HAI and FAA cooperative research agreement for enhanced understanding of air traffic control (ATC) of helicopter operations
- Advocating for new heliports and protection of existing heliports
- The HAI Land & Live Program, which promotes greater use of precautionary landings
- The HAI Safety Awards for member operators, pilots, and maintenance personnel
- Development of a virtual helicopter museum by Helicopter Foundation International
- The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 and the self-certification pilot medical initiative.
Some of the working groups, advisory committees, and study groups on which HAI represents the interests of the helicopter industry are:
- FAA/Department of Transportation working groups for microlight UAS rules and UAS registration
- The FAA ADS-B Equip 2020 initiative to remove bureaucratic roadblocks to ADS-B equipage
- The newly formed FAA Airspace Management Advisory Committee, which will evaluate the impact of airspace revisions on airport operations and capacity, surrounding communities, and environment
- The Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) working groups for rotorcraft occupant protection, which seeks to enhance the postcrash safety of passengers by preventing fires and blunt-force trauma, and for rotorcraft bird strikes
- The FAA’s Rotorcraft Forum, which promotes regulatory reform to encourage the development and use of new safety products
- The International Civil Aviation Organization Task Force on Fatigue, Heliport Design Working Group, and Helicopter Sub-Group.
Time and again, our work on your behalf has paid off. Here are some issues that HAI actively opposes or has prevented from being implemented:
- Various initiatives to create new, or expand existing, restricted airspace
- Prohibition of single-engine helicopters over populated areas as well as for night and IFR operations
- Legislation to restrict flight-training benefits available to U.S. veterans
- Legislation to remove ATC from the FAA and place it under the control of a yet-to-be-formed private company that would be dominated by the airlines
- Establishment of restrictive routes and minimum altitudes for helicopters, and reduction or elimination of certain missions over populated areas, all predicated on unsubstantiated noise complaints
- A requirement that all U.S. helicopters comply with Stage 3 noise standards by December 31, 2024, or be retired from service
- Legislation that would have negated ongoing FAA rulemaking for crash-resistant fuel systems
- Legislation that would have exempted U.S. helicopter air ambulance operations from the Airline Deregulation Act, allowing individual states to set their own regulations and minimum requirements for that sector.
I hope this partial list helps you better understand what the dedicated HAI staff are doing to assist you, our members. By the way, don’t forget that HAI also produces HAI HELI-EXPO®, the world’s largest trade show dedicated to the international helicopter industry.
I would sincerely appreciate your thoughts regarding our current efforts. More importantly, if you have any additional issues or concerns that you would like HAI to address, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s my story and I am sticking to it. Fly safe — fly neighborly.
Matt Zuccaro is president and CEO of HAI.