President's Message

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Help Us So We Can Help You

Matt Zuccaro, President, HAI

As most of you know, HAI exists to serve the needs of you, our members, and to advocate on your behalf.

We want to ensure you do not have to operate in an environment of overburdensome regulations and legislation that restrict your ability to conduct your activities and remain economically viable. This philosophy applies to all our members: commercial, general aviation, or government operators; manufacturers, vendors, and service providers; and military personnel, pilots, and mechanics.

To advocate for our members, we pursue several strategies with groups outside our industry: lobby elected officials, interact with regulators, educate the public, and communicate with the media. We let them know what it is you actually do, why you do it, and the benefits your activities provide toward the greater good of society.

On the flip side, we educate them about the effect that new or revised regulations and laws will have on your organizations and activities, either negative or positive, and how that in turn may affect the public. One of the bigger items we are currently addressing is proposed legislation to switch the air traffic control from the FAA to an airline-controlled private organization that will impose user fees.

HAI has also been active in fighting the reduction of benefits for veterans seeking flight training, working to integrate unmanned aircraft into the low-level airspace, and improving FAA certification for operators, pilots, and aircraft. And as always, we place the highest priority on initiatives to improve safety.

As you can see, accurate and current information on vertical flight activities and issues is absolutely essential to our efforts on your behalf. Generalities and platitudes aren’t particularly persuasive. Most of the people we talk to want to know specific numbers: How many operators are in my district? How much state tax revenue is generated by general aviation? How many flight hours are conducted safely?

In some instances, the information we require is already available through outside sources. However, most of the time we need the participation of our members in the field.

To be the most effective representative for the vertical-lift industry, it is essential that HAI has data that accurately represent the current status of your operations and related activities. Some examples of this data might be the number of aircraft you operate, number of hours flown each year, the type of missions you perform, how many employees you have, your economic impact on the local and national economy, as well as the taxes and fees you pay related to your helicopter operations or other activities.

To gather this data, HAI normally sends out e-mail requests to all members, advising them of the issue or concern we are trying to address and requesting the relevant information, so we can make our case to legislators, regulators, media, or the public.

As we move forward, HAI will be proactively expanding its requests for information from our members. This information will be used to construct a database to be used in formulating industry positions and representing industry interests.

As with all such initiatives, HAI is very sensitive to protecting the confidentiality of the information. All data collected will be de-identified so as to protect the identity of the submitter. No identifiable information will be shared with outside persons or organizations. All data will be presented as representative of aggregate membership information.

I cannot stress how important it is for you to answer the call when we ask for our members’ active response and direct support. The information you provide enables us to advocate on your behalf in the most effective and efficient manner.

While we are on this subject, I would also like to note one frustration I experience when I am out in the field. People often graciously express their appreciation to HAI, the staff, and myself for all we do on behalf of them and the rest of the industry. Obviously, that is music to my ears.

However, these same people often will then reveal that they are not members of HAI. Call me crazy but if you are enjoying the benefits of our efforts, don’t you think you should support HAI by becoming a member?

If this story could describe you, then visit rotor.org/join. If you believe in what HAI does for our industry, then join and enhance our ability to fight for your right to do what you do best.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it. Let me know what you think at tailrotor@aol.com.

As always, fly safe — fly neighborly.

Best regards,

Matt Zuccaro 

 


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