This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Amid continuing Covid pandemic event cancellations, the Helicopter Association International (HAI) this week reaffirmed its intention to hold its annual Heli-Expo show next March 22-25 in New Orleans. "Our early [booking] numbers tell me there is an entire industry that is eager to come out of quarantine and get together to do business,” said James Viola, HAI president. "We know people are concerned [about Covid-19]," said Viola. "It's our job to manage the risk for attendees and exhibitors and ensure their safety during their visit with us, just as our members do for their customers."
The first stage of the show floor lottery closed in July, and more than 300 companies—including most of the major OEMs—have already booked more than two-thirds of the available show floor, and over 10,000 hotel room nights were secured on the first day reservations could be made. HAI reported that some hotels have already sold out.
Heli-Expo is the world’s largest helicopter exposition and typically attracts over 50 display aircraft and more than 600 exhibiting companies. Additionally, there are over 100 industry meetings of all kinds: technical briefings, professional education classes, safety education sessions, forums, and workshops.