Matt Zuccaro, president of the Helicopter Association International (HAI), wants attendees of Heli-Expo to understand right up front that he and his association members are team players. “Too often in the past, helicopters were seen as a segment of aviation unto itself,” he explained. To help correct that misconception, Zuccaro invited the leaders of several key aviation associations to an onstage dialogue at 9 a.m., Monday, February 13.
Association leaders who have accepted Zuccaro’s invitation include: Aircraft Electronics Association’s Paula Derks; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Craig Fuller; Experimental Aircraft Association’s Rod Hightower; General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s Pete Bunce; National Air Transportation Association’s James Coyne; National Business Aviation Association’s Ed Bolen; and Women in Aviation, International’s Peggy Chabrian. Every one of these organizations includes members who are helicopter pilots, mechanics, owners and operators.
Though it isn’t the first time these leaders have met to discuss key aviation concerns they share, it is novel to see them focus on helicopters during a town hall-style question and answer session. Questions fielded by the leaders will include references to the team-lobbying that helped to push through the most recent FAA reauthorization bill, according to Chris Dancy, director of Communications and Public Relations for HAI.