Civil Helicopters News

HAI Works Towards First AAM Flight

by Mia Yao

HAI Works Towards First AAM Flight

Helicopter Association International (HAI), the leading advocate for the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) industry, has been working to bring advanced air mobility (AAM) forward to its first commercial flight.

“AAM is complementary to the role helicopters have played in supporting our society and providing business and industry solutions for over 70 years,” says James Viola, president and CEO, HAI. “The rotorcraft industry is in the best position to lead the expansion of AAM and incorporate it into the airspace we are already using.”

HAI has also played a key role in advocating for the safe integration of AAM into the national airspace by moving AAM legislation forward in Congress and assisting with the creation of the AAM Caucus on Capitol Hill.

“From regulatory engagement and standards definition to new training, safety and quality assurance programs, to industry and market research, HAI will play an active role in the introduction of new types of electric VTOL aircraft and their safe, successful operation by members,” Viola is quoted as saying in the white paper.

Throughout the spring and summer, Viola has been a vocal champion for the safe integration of AAM aircraft into the airspace where rotorcraft operate. Viola represented the VTOL industry at a General Aviation Town Hall sponsored by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) in Tarkio, Missouri, at presentations delivered at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and at a recent summit of aviation organization leaders.

One challenge facing the VTOL industry is the current shortage of pilots and aviation maintenance personnel.

“We are standing up an HAI Workforce Development Working Group. HAI is seeking volunteer members from around the world to help collaborate on solutions. We must prepare the workers entering the rotorcraft industry today to lead tomorrow’s evolution of flight,” Viola said.

“There could not be a better time for people to join the VTOL industry,” says Viola. “AAM will not happen overnight. When it does, there will be a need for experienced personnel. Not only is there an immediate demand for people to join the aviation workforce, but there will also be significant opportunities for pay, benefits, and advancement as an entirely new class of aircraft becomes operational.”

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