HELI-EXPO 2008 Breaks Record

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HELI-EXPO 2008came to a close in Houston on Tuesday—breaking all attendance and exhibitor records. A record setting17,373 visitors attended this year’s HELI-EXPO. Five-hundred and twenty-three exhibitors showcased their products and services. Sixty-five helicopters were displayed on the showroom floor. Exhibitor space covered252,700 feet and featured avionics, accessories, components, and related products, all under one roof!

Exhibitors reported high activity at their booths, and vendors were able to interact with thousands of consumers on the floor. HAI committee meetings and educational seminars were well attended, with more than 600 registrants participating in Helicopter Foundation International’s Professional Education Series. This year’s HELI-EXPO Job Fair and Mentoring Program were also a success, with 35 employers and more than 800 jobseekers participating. The HELI-EXPO job fair allowed jobseekers to meet with employers and discuss opportunities in the international helicopter community. The event was free, fully sponsored by HAI’s Human Resources Committee.

Voting for the HAI Board of Directors took place on Monday. The newly elected winners are Christopher Erickson, Chief Repair Station Office/Compliance, Erickson Air-Crane; Gale Wilson, President, Hillcrest Aircraft Company, Inc; and Ardis T Ashton, Jr., Transportation Policy Manager, Bonneville Power Administration-Aircraft Services. The new members of the executive committee of the Board of Directors are Patrick Corr, Chairman; Mark Gibson, Vice Chairman; David Chevalier, Treasurer; Art Ashton, Assistant Treasurer.

The “Salute to Excellence” Awards Banquet was held Monday night in the Ballroom of the Americas at the Hilton-Americas Hotel. The highlight of the banquet was a video paying tributes to award winners, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the international helicopter industry. A video celebrating HAI’s 60th anniversary was also shown. The banquet featured a giveaway for a 2008 Nissan Sentra. Les Ferrell had the winning ticket and accepted the keys to his brand new automobile.

In addition, the HAI Safety Committee booth held their drawing today. Winners tookhome their ownhelicopter models. Winners included: Ronald Eagle fromH2 Aero Management (US), Inc. who won a small Chinook; Sylvain Guay from Pratt & Whitney Canada whowon a Sky Crane; Rick Justice from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who won a Pavelow; Mark Johnson from Aero-Craft Hydraulics, Inc. who won a large green Chinook; and Carl M. Jones from National Research Council Canada who won a large Pavelow.

HAI staff members will now begin preparing for HELI-EXPO 2009, which will take place in Anaheim, California February 22-24, 2009 – mark your calendars!

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