Alexandria, Va. (Jan. 20, 2021) – Responding to an increasing number of voices from across the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) industry, Helicopter Association International (HAI) has made the difficult decision to cancel HAI HELI-EXPO 2021.
HAI will not reschedule this year’s event. Instead, the association will redirect its efforts to producing HAI HELI-EXPO 2022, which will be held on March 7–10 in Dallas, Texas, a city that has traditionally been a hub of rotorcraft operations. HAI HELI-EXPO® has long served as a venue where the international VTOL industry annually gathers—to connect, learn, and conduct $2 billion in business.
“Please understand that we did not make this decision lightly,” says James Viola, president and CEO of HAI. “HAI is here to support our members and customers. Leading up to mid-January, the majority of industry voices who contacted us supported holding Expo as long as health and safety protocols were in place. We took extraordinary steps, working with our partners in New Orleans, to be able to conduct a safe event.”
As a mid-January deadline for exhibitors approached, the world also saw a spike in COVID-19 cases. “Pandemic conditions have changed, and the majority of our stakeholders have recently expressed discomfort with the logistics involved in business travel at this time,” Viola says. “In response, we concluded that we had to cancel HAI HELI-EXPO 2021. We’re grateful for the honest feedback that we received from our members, exhibitors, attendees, and other stakeholders.
“Like many others during this past year, we have had to adjust course in response to changing conditions,” says Viola. “HAI firmly believes that the flexibility that our industry has demonstrated throughout this pandemic will help our businesses and individuals persevere and strengthen.”
HAI is beginning to reach out to exhibitors, attendees, vendors, and other HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 stakeholders. Exhibitors have multiple options for their booth payments, including pushing participation and payment to the 2022 show in Dallas, repurposing dollars to other HAI advertising or sponsorship opportunities to support their business objectives in 2021, or issue of a full refund.