Bold Ideas, Bright Future Await in Las Vegas
The latest in helicopters, avionics, and technology await you at this year’s HAI HELI‑EXPO® in Las Vegas. The 2018 event, which opens Monday, February 26, will be host to hundreds of business, networking, and learning opportunities planned just for you. The show floor will be open Tuesday, February 27, through Thursday, March 1.
Preliminary registration numbers for exhibitors and attendees have been impressive. “Both of these are positive indicators that our industry is on the upswing,” says Matt Zuccaro, president and CEO of HAI. “Having a big show is wonderful, but what this really means is that manufacturers, operators, and ancillary companies are poised and prepared for growth.”
Location, Location, Location
Visitors attending this year’s show in Las Vegas have one of the greatest variety of hotel options in any city. From the large casino hotels to the more practical business hotels, attendees are certain to find housing that matches their budget and lifestyle.
Registration will be in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center, between Central and North Halls. Watch for our registration hosts, the “Rat Pack” as they guide you through registration, then have your picture taken with the world-famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and share it on social media. #HAI_EXPO18 is our hashtag on both Twitter and Instagram.
For transportation around town, the Las Vegas Monorail stops right outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, from Monday, February 26, through Thursday, March 1, shuttle buses will deliver attendees to and from the convention from all but the closest hotels in the HAI HELI‑EXPO housing block. You’ll find more information about schedules and routes at rotor.org/shuttle.
What's Hot in Las Vegas?
Want to be the first to know about exclusive Expo giveaways, show floor surprises, and parties? The best way to navigate the show and be the first to know is through the HAI HELI‑EXPO show app. This app displays event schedules, maps, exhibitor listings, and surprise “app‑only” meetups and parties designed to improve your Las Vegas experience.
Search the iOS App or Google Play store for “Heli Expo” or download the app by scanning with your smartphone the QR code shown at left. There are literally hundreds of events, activities, and displays to fill your day.
Everyone’s a Winner!
Each year, HAI hears that networking is the No. 1 reason that people attend HAI HELI‑EXPO. This is the one show that nearly everyone in the industry attends, so it’s easy to find old friends and make new connections.
Make your connection at this year’s HAI HELI‑EXPO Welcome Reception (sponsored by Bell Helicopter) at Intrigue nightclub in the Wynn Las Vegas. This venue is one of the hottest in town, so make sure you take advantage of this unique networking opportunity.
You can also kick off your HAI HELI‑EXPO in the desert sunshine at the annual Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) Scholarship Golf Tournament held before the show officially opens, on Sunday, February 25, at the Las Vegas National Golf Course. The cost for 18 holes of golf, with cart and lunch, is $230 per golfer. Check-in starts at 10:00 a.m., and the shotgun start is at noon. All tournament proceeds will fund HFI scholarships for students pursuing careers in rotorcraft aviation. You can find more information at rotor.org/golf.
Last year, we debuted a new feature on the HAI HELI‑EXPO show floor: HAI Connect, a place where attendees could connect with education, technology, and each other. This year we’ve positioned our HAI Connect pavilion right in the middle of the show floor, at Booth #C1350. You can’t miss it.
HAI Connect should be your go-to location for industry news, industry meetups, and special events. Come to get updates on legislative events, career guidance, and face-to-face time with industry influencers.
We’re also hosting meetups at HAI Connect for those who share common professional interests. Pilots, maintenance personnel, and aerial firefighting are just some of the meetups that we have planned. HAI Connect’s convenient location makes it easy to pop into these 10- to 20-minute events. Be sure to check the show app and the show monitors often for updates.
If you are looking for a new job, visit the HFI Helicopter Industry Career Fair and the Career Roundtable, both on Tuesday, February 27. Located in Rooms N113 and N114, the Career Fair runs from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and features companies in the rotorcraft industry that are actively hiring new employees. The Helicopter Industry Career Fair is free for job seekers, but they must preregister. Companies interested in seeking qualified candidates for open positions can obtain 8-foot x 8-foot booth space for a nominal fee. To register as an exhibitor or job seeker, visit rotor.org/careerfair.
If you’re trying to figure out your next step on your career path, stop by the Career Roundtable in Room N111 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event for pilots and aircraft mechanics features industry professionals who can answer questions and share advice on keeping a career in the helicopter industry moving upward.
HAI Takes You to School
One of the most popular events at every HAI HELI‑EXPO are the safety education sessions available through the Rotor Safety Challenge, as well as the HAI Professional Education courses. These helicopter-specific sessions and courses are taught by industry experts, former HAI Salute to Excellence recipients, and safety professionals.
Twenty-five courses fill this year’s HAI Professional Education schedule. Available for a fee that is separate from the HAI HELI‑EXPO registration, these classes support pilots, maintenance personnel, and administrative staff. The courses range in length from four hours to four days, and attendees receive a certificate of attendance. Some classes may be eligible for WINGS or AMT credits. You can find the complete schedule, class descriptions, and fees at rotor.org/takeacourse.
Because safety is such an important element of our industry, we are proud to once again offer the HFI Rotor Safety Challenge as an important part of our education lineup. These 50-plus safety education sessions are available to all HAI HELI‑EXPO attendees and exhibitors at no charge. Most of the sessions last one hour, although a few are longer to cover their subject more thoroughly.
Attendees who attend a minimum of six sessions complete the Rotor Safety Challenge and receive a certificate of completion for their efforts. You can find a schedule and session descriptions at rotor.org/takethechallenge.
The HAI HELI‑EXPO Fly‑In/Fly-Out
The Expo show floor is open from Tuesday, February 27, to Thursday, March 1, but official activities are under way as early as Friday, February 23. As booths begin to spring up from the show floor, approximately 60 helicopters will take their place under the bright lights, and most will arrive by air on February 23 and 24. Scheduled to arrive roughly every 15 minutes, this fly-in is a must-see event for aviation enthusiasts.
The aircraft depart the following Thursday and Friday, March 1 and 2, moving at a slightly faster pace than their arrival. Inbound and outbound flights are under the control of the FAA and HAI flight operations personnel, and safety is the top priority.
Celebrating Our Industry’s Best
On the evening of Wednesday, February 28, the industry gathers to honor some of our best and brightest. For more than 50 years, HAI has recognized the outstanding achievements and exceptional merit of individuals and organizations in the international helicopter community through the annual Salute to Excellence Awards, presented in nine categories.
This annual awards dinner is the premier event of HAI HELI‑EXPO. For tickets to this impressive event or for information on this year’s honorees, visit rotor.org/saluteawards.
A new segment at this year’s Salute to Excellence dinner is recognition of the many helicopter industry professionals who provided assistance in the aftermath of the myriad natural disasters that recently struck around the world. This includes wildfires, flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters where helicopter flight crews provided humanitarian service.
This part of the evening’s program does not replace the Salute to Excellence Humanitarian Service award. It simply recognizes the many other people who used helicopters to help those in need. If you were one of those who operated, flew, maintained, or supported the many helicopter emergency response missions during the past year, please join us to accept the recognition and gratitude of your peers in the industry.
Support the Past, Present, and Future
HFI has the mission to support helicopter safety, preserve and display the history of vertical flight, and promote the industry as a rewarding career. In order for HFI to produce a variety of programs at HAI HELI‑EXPO 2018, such as the Rotor Safety Challenge and Helicopter Industry Career Fair, it sponsors two fund-raising events at HAI HELI‑EXPO.
One, the HFI Scholarship Golf Tournament, serves as an informal kickoff to the show. The other, the HFI Online Silent Auction, is one of the last events on the show schedule.
The HFI Online Silent Auction reaches thousands of potential aviation enthusiasts and bidders. Please visit www.biddingforgood.com/HFI beginning Feb. 19; you’ll be able to register and bid 24/7 throughout the auction period.
Bidding closes at 4:00 p.m. PST on Thursday, March 1. Bidders do not need to be present in Las Vegas to win. Proceeds will go to HFI’s Scholarship Program for future pilots and mechanics, as well as to support HFI’s safety and historic preservation programs. More information can be found at rotor.org/auction.
The Future of HAI HELI‑EXPO
Finally, get ready for Atlanta! ATL will be the next city to host HAI HELI‑EXPO, so watch for updates and promotions for HAI HELI‑EXPO 2019, March 4–7, with exhibits open March 5–7. Visit Booth #C1955 to learn more.