HAI opens nominations for annual Salute to Excellence Awards

Helicopter Association International (HAI) has announced that the nomination period for the 2018 Salute to Excellence awards is now open. Due to a scheduling change, nominations for these annual awards will close early this year, on Sept. 25, 2017.

These awards recognize achievement within the helicopter industry in nine categories, and recipients are honored at a dinner held during the HAI Heli-Expo annual conference and trade show. HAI Heli-Expo 2018 will be held in Las Vegas, from Feb. 27 to March 1, with the awards dinner held on Feb. 28.


“We are excited to see the nominations again this year,” said Dan Sweet, HAI director of public relations and communications and coordinator of the awards program. “However, I cannot stress strongly enough that we are working with an earlier deadline this year. As a result of a schedule change, Sept. 25 is a firm deadline, and there will be no extensions.”

The nine Salute to Excellence Award categories honor those pilots, maintenance technicians, operators, safety professionals, and others who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence that has enriched our industry. The awards categories are:

  • The Golden Hour Award recognizes the efforts of an individual, group, or organization that, through a particular activity or contributions over time, has advanced the use of helicopters in the vital mission of air medical transport;
  • The Pilot of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding single feat performed by a helicopter pilot during the year or extraordinary professionalism over a period of time. Nominees must be active helicopter pilots;
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award salutes excellence in management and leadership. The award honors an individual for long and significant service to the international helicopter community. Nominees need not be licensed pilots;
  • The Safety Award acknowledges outstanding contributions in the promotion of safety and safety awareness throughout the international helicopter community;
  • The Excellence in Communications Award acknowledges the individual or organization achieving the most creative and distinct dissemination of information about the helicopter industry;
  • The Law Enforcement Award recognizes an individual or organization that has contributed to the promotion and advancement of helicopters in support of law enforcement activities. Nominees are not limited to pilots or law enforcement personnel;
  • The Excellence in Helicopter Maintenance Award recognizes an individual for longstanding excellence in helicopter maintenance, maintenance instruction or supervision, or a single significant contribution to helicopter maintenance. Eligibility is limited to active helicopter maintenance personnel;
  • The Humanitarian Service Award honors the person or persons who best demonstrate the value of helicopters to the communities in which they operate by providing aid to those in need. The award may be for a particular mission or for outstanding service over a period of time; and
  • The W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award recognizes superlative contributions by a helicopter flight instructor in upholding high standards of excellence.

Nominations are open to anyone in the helicopter industry; any individual or organization, whether or not they are an HAI member, may submit nominations or be nominated for an award.

“As you prepare your nomination, please remember to submit strong supporting information,” added Sweet. “We know your nominee is a great person and that they do a great job. So tell us their story! Provide examples of their passion for helicopters or the industry, and give us supporting information such as photos, videos, letters of recommendation, newspaper clippings, or any other data that illustrates their value to helicopter community. We’ve provided tips for submitting a winning nomination on our website.”

For more information or to submit a nomination, please visit rotor.org/salute.

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