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Helicopter Foundation International (HFI), Helicopter Association International’s (HAI’s) charitable arm, is undergoing a name change that more closely identifies the nonprofit organization’s role in supporting HAI missions. Effective Jan. 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,” said 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, and an online silent auction. You can also make a donation at rotor.org/donate to fund the foundation’s programs in education, safety, and historic preservation.