Mar. 24, 2021
Staff from HAI’s Marketing Communications and Government Affairs Departments share how they’re serving members this week, including working with industry partners on aviation business concerns and celebrating Women’s History Month.
Jaasmin Foote, HAI Social Media Manager
It’s still Women’s History Month, and we still have stories to share! Today’s shout-out goes to Fiona Hall (pictured above with executives from Kopter at the Helitech Expo in 2018). Fiona started her career in aviation as a check-in agent at East Midlands Airport, UK, where she became obsessed with everything aviation. She is now the director of Mega Aero Training Academy, a member of the Safomar Aviation Group, where Fiona is responsible for two aviation maintenance facilities (fixed wing and rotorcraft); an aviation technical training academy; a pilot training academy; and flight operations, which include rotorcraft crop spraying, aerial security operations, and charter flights.
Under her leadership, Mega Aero is now the largest aviation training facility in South Africa, welcoming over 1,000 students a year from across the continent, Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean Islands. In 2019, she began Women within Aviation, an event in which she hosts a formal high tea inside Mega Aero’s practical-training hangar to celebrate women in South African aviation.
Fiona’s advice to women who are looking to make an impact in the VTOL industry is to stay eager to learn and never lose your passion for the profession.
Thanks, Fiona, for being a role model for women around the world in aviation!
Cade Clark, HAI Vice President of Government Affairs, John Shea, HAI Director of Government Affairs, and Emma Taylor, HAI Policy Analyst
House T&I Leaders Request Assessment of Barriers to Sustainable Aviation Fuel
Leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Subcommittee on Aviation sent to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Mar. 18 requesting an assessment of the barriers to the deployment of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The request was made by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO-06), as well as House Subcommittee on Aviation Chair Rick Larsen (D-WA-02) and Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-LA-06).
SAF is a jet fuel made from biomass, waste streams, or gaseous carbon oxides. SAF is one of the leading innovations to reduce overall aviation emissions. Integration and use of SAF present several challenges to the aviation industry, which prompted the committee leaders to request the GAO review.
HAI recently joined a SAF Business Aviation Coalition committee and is actively working with industry partners to explore SAF capabilities.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing on Administration’s Priorities
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Thursday, Mar. 25, 2021, about the Biden administration’s priorities for transportation infrastructure. Among the list of participants is Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is expected to address the transportation industry’s priorities. HAI Government Affairs will be monitoring the hearing and will keep members informed of any major developments. HAI will continue to find ways to work with the new administration to advance member priorities regarding transportation infrastructure.
FAA Grant Program Applications Due Monday, Mar. 29, 2021
The deadline for Aviation Workforce Development Grants is quickly approaching! Proposals for the 2021 selection cycle are due by Mar. 29, 2021, at 11:59 pm eastern (UTC-4). The FAA plans to post a list of award recipients on its website by September. HAI encourages eligible individuals to apply. Please submit applications electronically via .
The two grant programs, one dedicated to future aircraft pilots and the other to aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs), were established in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Both programs are provided to the academic and aviation communities and were established to engage and inspire the next generation of aviation professionals.
HAI advocated for the creation of these programs in the reauthorization act and is pleased to see them come to life: