This past weekend, Cade Clark, HAI VP of government affairs, joined Allison McKay, VP of Helicopter Foundation International, and John Shea, HAI director of government affairs, to attend the Utah Rotor Pathway Program rollout. The program draws team members from industry operators, high schools, post-secondary schools, and other stakeholders interested in supporting Utah’s helicopter industry and an aviation career pathway for Utah students.
On Friday, Cade, Allison, and John joined with other program members to discuss ways to expand the program, which provides high-school students with rotor-specific aviation education, to additional schools in the state.
On Saturday, August 17, Pathway was officially kicked off at the grand opening of Cedar Valley High School, the Aviators, located in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Cedar Valley students will be some of the first to benefit from the Utah Rotor Pathway Program, as they are teamed with two program members, Southern Utah University and Utah Valley University.
For the event, 11 helicopters flew in and were a huge hit with the crowd of students and families (see photo below). Several dignitaries were on hand, including Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah), former Utah senator Jake Garn, local mayors, state representatives and senators, school board supervisors, and local legend Col. Gail Halvorsen, the famed Candy Bomber of the Berlin Airlift.
The commencement was officially kicked off with brief messages from Scott Romney and Ben Hart with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), Cade Clark representing HAI, Mike Mower of Southern Utah University, and Preston Dean of Intermountain Life Flight.
HAI operator members in the Pathway program that flew aircraft into the event were: Air Med (Metro Aviation), Classic Helicopter, Intermountain Life Flight, Southern Utah University, Sundance Helicopter, Universal Helicopters, and Utah Helicopter. Safran hosted a booth displaying one of their engines, and they had a steady stream of students interested in seeing how a helicopter engine works. HAI thanks all its members who helped make the Pathway kickoff a success!
Before the Pathway meetings started, Cade, Allison, and John visited with local HAI members, Metro Aviation (see photo below), which operates the University of Utah AirMed program. The HAI team learned more about the maintenance program for the local operations.