HAI’s strategy to position the industry for growth.
Companies today are banding together with their supply chains, forming larger ecosystems, and utilizing these robust communities to shape the external environment, better navigate uncertainty, and position for industry growth. In response, owners, companies, trade associations, and government are joining forces to build durable strategic partnerships.
The aviation industry is no different. In fact, one of the most noteworthy efforts to build partnerships occurs in the vertical aviation industry. HAI, in particular, is brainstorming innovative solutions to shape the uncertain economic environment. It’s a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats approach—and it’s working.
Positioning the Industry for Growth
Nicole Battjes, founder and owner of Rainbow Helicopters and treasurer of HAI, and James A. Viola, president and CEO of HAI, have spearheaded the association’s Strategic Industry Plan and Value Proposition to position the vertical aviation industry for growth.
The two formed HAI’s Strategic Industry Plan Committee, comprising HAI Board of Directors members Stacy Sheard, Mark Schlaefli, and Robert Miller Stallings, and former board member Jack Matiasevich. The planning process launched with intensive qualitative and quantitative research to ascertain the industry’s “what keeps you up at night” challenges and desired future direction. Through the research, actionable insights and key themes surrounding the industry emerged in several areas:
- Legislative and regulatory challenges on the global, federal, and local levels
- Public perception
- Collaboration and engagement
- Safety and training
- Positioning for the future
- International unity and growth.
The committee and HAI staff developed initial drafts of the Strategic Industry Plan and Value Proposition and sought feedback from the board and leaders from HAI’s 14 working groups. Their insights helped shape the plan’s completion.
HAI’s Strategic Industry Plan
The Strategic Industry Plan, which was unanimously approved at a special HAI Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 27, 2022, outlines a robust future vertical aviation ecosystem to help build the strongest base of allies to shape and define the industry’s future.
The plan incorporates five strategic initiatives focused on positioning the industry for growth:
- Strategic Initiative 1: Unify the industry around a new vision of vertical aviation and continually promote community compatibility
- Strategic Initiative 2: Engage all stakeholders in the global value chain to help create a favorable environment that helps the entire industry thrive and prosper
- Strategic Initiative 3: Elevate safety culture throughout the value chain
- Strategic Initiative 4: Develop business resources that help companies elevate their operational performance
- Strategic Initiative 5: Develop a pathway that helps attract and maintain the best workforce in the world.
“This was a strategic and research-guided process, and the committee and I were thrilled to play an important role,” Battjes says. “[We] are very proud of the plan because it [helps] the industry build a long-term vision that aligns our trade association with the future of vertical aviation.”
Reflecting on his decision to recommend a broad-based industry strategy, Viola says he “wanted a meaningful strategic planning process to help us more closely align with the members and a rapidly changing landscape, and to help the trade association build even stronger strategic partnerships with vertical aviation.”
The Strategic Industry Plan Committee, the HAI Board, and HAI staff set out to represent the industry so that everyone would benefit and prosper. Through this process, they’ve helped determine the future of vertical aviation and demonstrated that strategic partnerships between industries and their trade associations work.
The future of the vertical flight industry will continue its advance because the trade association and its leaders have invested considerable time and resources to envision the future of vertical aviation by reimagining the industry’s growth.