Longstanding Helicopter Association International (HAI) president and CEO Matt Zuccaro will retire effective June 30, 2020, the association announced this morning. A search for a replacement has been launched. Zuccaro has led HAI since Nov. 1, 2005.
“The HAI Board of Directors, on behalf of the entire industry, offers our deepest appreciation to Matt for his service,” says outgoing HAI chair James Wisecup. “Through his leadership, HAI has been a leading advocate to improve the safety of helicopter operations worldwide. Matt has also been a forceful supporter for the industry in legislative and regulatory matters, saving our members and the industry at large from overburdensome legislation and regulations.”
During his career, Zuccaro held several executive and operations management positions with commercial, corporate, air tour, scheduled airline, and public-service helicopter operations in the northeastern U.S. At the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, he served in operations management positions at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Port Authority’s public and private heliports. Before assuming the helm at HAI, Zuccaro served as the organization’s chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, and assistant treasurer as well as a director for six years. He also served as a special advisor to HAI’s board. Zuccaro is a past president of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC).
He received his initial helicopter flight training as a U.S. Army aviator and served with the 7/17 Air Calvary unit in Vietnam, for which he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars, and 19 Air Medals. He was subsequently assigned as a flight instructor at the Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He holds airline transport pilot and certified flight instructor-instrument certificates for both airplanes and helicopters.
He is a recipient of the HAI Pilot Safety Award for 10,000 hours of accident- and violation-free flight hours, the NBAA Pilot Safety award, and numerous other industry awards for his efforts and commitment to the helicopter industry.