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The board of directors for Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced the impending retirement of Matthew Zuccaro, president and CEO, effective June 30, 2020. This date coincides with HAI’s fiscal year and the installation of a new board of directors on July 1, 2020.
Zuccaro has led the association as president and CEO since Nov. 1, 2005. The executive committee of the board of directors will use an executive search firm to aid in finding Zuccaro’s successor and will consider candidates both internal and external.
“The HAI board of directors, on behalf of the entire industry, offer our deepest appreciation to Matt for his service,” said outgoing HAI chair James Wisecup. “Through his leadership, HAI has been a leading advocate to improve the safety of helicopter operations worldwide. Matt has also been a forceful supporter for the industry in legislative and regulatory matters, saving our members and the industry at large from overburdensome legislation and regulations.”
“We wish Matt well, and we thank him for the opportunity to take the next year to select his successor thoughtfully,” said incoming chair Jan Becker. “The board is aware of the great responsibility we have to select the next person to lead HAI into the future.
“Our industry is evolving at a record pace. The next HAI president must be capable of navigating through several complex issues, including the pilot and maintenance technician shortage and the safe integration of unmanned aerial systems, while continuing to provide members with tools that enhance the economic viability, safety, and public acceptance of their operations,” she said.
During an aviation career that has spanned more than 50 years, Zuccaro held several executive and operations management positions with commercial, corporate, air tour, scheduled airline, and public-service helicopter operations in the northeastern United States. During his tenure with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, he served in operations management positions at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Port Authority’s public and private heliports.
Zuccaro received his initial helicopter flight training as a U.S. Army aviator and served with the 7/17 Air Calvary unit in Vietnam. He holds an airline transport pilot and certified flight instructor – instrument certificates for both airplanes and helicopters. He is a recipient of the HAI Pilot Safety Award for 10,000 hours of accident- and violation-free flight hours, the NBAA Pilot Safety award as well as numerous other industry awards for his efforts and commitment to the helicopter industry.
Zuccaro has indicated he is looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time with his family as he considers new opportunities to assist the international helicopter community.