Alexandria, Va. – Helicopter Foundation International (HFI), HAI’s charitable arm, is undergoing a name change that more closely identifies the nonprofit organization’s role in supporting HAI missions. Effective January 13, 2020, the name officially changed to the HAI Foundation.
“For many years, not everyone realized that HFI is directly connected to HAI, its parent organization,” says HAI President and CEO Jim Viola, who also serves in this role for the foundation. “This name change ties the two organizations more closely together, but the foundation’s mission and goals have not changed.”
The tax-exempt foundation also shares the same Board of Directors as HAI, with the goal of “preserving and promoting the rich heritage of vertical aviation, while supporting the next generation of pilots and aviation maintenance technicians.” To achieve that goal, the foundation provides programs in three mission areas: education, safety, and historic preservation.
Most recently, the foundation has focused attention on the helicopter pilot and aviation maintenance technician shortage. It commissioned the HFI-UND study, which was the first to document the labor shortage in the helicopter industry. Since that study was released, the foundation has been active in workforce development, holding industry forums and career roundtables addressing the issue.
The foundation has also worked closely with the HAI Government Affairs department, helping to initiate the Utah Rotor Pathways program and providing information and guidance to other states interested in establishing similar educational programs. The foundation also annually awards 19 scholarships for student pilots and aviation maintenance technicians.
As a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations to the HAI Foundation are tax deductible. HAI HELI-EXPO 2020 offers several ways to become a foundation donor, including a golf tournament that raises money for scholarships (visit rotor.org/golf to learn more about this year’s Jan. 26 tournament in Anaheim) and an online silent auction (visit biddingforgood.com/hai between Jan. 20 and Jan. 30). You can also make a donation at rotor.org/donate to fund the foundation’s programs in education, safety, and historic preservation.
HAI is the professional trade association for the international helicopter industry. HAI members represent more than 3,000 aviation businesses and individuals who safely operate more than 4,500 helicopters approximately 2.3 million hours each year in more than 73 nations. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective method of commerce and to the advancement of the international helicopter community.