Tag Archives: #heliexpo

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HAI Celebrates 75th Anniversary

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The helicopter trade association was established in 1948

Today, Helicopter Association International (HAI) celebrates 75 years of advocacy in the vertical flight sector. HAI was founded on Dec. 13, 1948, in Burbank, California, by a group of 16 individuals originally known as the Helicopter Council. Since then, the organization has grown to include thousands of members from at least 65 countries, including pilots, technicians, manufacturers, and suppliers. 

“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,” said HAI president and CEO James Viola. “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 remains committed to promoting safety and community in the vertical flight sector, which in recent years has evolved to include new types of rotorcraft, including electric and autonomous vehicles, in addition to traditional helicopters. The changing landscape of the industry has prompted HAI to consider rebranding with a more inclusive title—one that may or may not retain the word “helicopter.” Announcing the move at the 2023 Heli-Expo convention, Viola pledged the rebranding will “look to the future while honoring the past.”

“HAI remains committed to the industry while embracing the expansion and development of new aircraft, infrastructure, and uses for vertical flight,” Viola said. “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 will hold its next Heli-Expo event in February 2024 in Anaheim, California.


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Leonardo receives helicopter orders from Middle East and India

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Leonardo has confirmed it sold ‘almost’ 40 helicopters during Heli-Expo 2023, including orders from the Middle East and India.

The helicopters, of various types, were sold to several operators primarily for energy support, rescue and public service duties, and VIP transport operations.

Leonardo said in a statement: “All of these orders add to preliminary sales contracts, already announced at Heli-Expo, for more than 50 AW09 next generation single engine helicopters for customers worldwide. In addition to THC’s decision to confirm intent to further expand the presence of their AW139 fleet in Saudi Arabia for SAR, EMS and corporate transport adding six helicopters plus 20 options within the next 18 months.

“Nearly 25 aircraft will carry out offshore transport missions with various operators supporting the energy industry across geographies. The AW139 global fleet grew with new orders across the Middle East – as well as Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia and Germany.”

Among operators in the Middle East placing orders for Leonardo offshore-configured helicopters was Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA).  It has expanded its AW139 offshore fleet with an order for six more helicopters with deliveries expected in the 2024-2026 timeframe.

There was also a new order for one AW139 by Abu Dhabi Police in UAE.

India’s Global Vectra Helicorp placed an order for two AW169s to support transport operations in the energy industry sector. The delivery of the aircraft is expected to be completed this year, joining a fleet of AW139s.