As we discussed in our previous ROTOR Daily article, our members recognized that the vertical aviation industry is expanding rapidly, with new aircraft and technologies taking to the skies. In October 2022, the HAI Board of Directors decided to unite the vertical flight industry under a single banner—a strategy that would require creating a new, inclusive brand for the association.

Our rebranding process was marked by purpose, research, and deliberation. Recognizing the significance of this transformation, the Board engaged with an agency specializing in rebranding associations, ensuring that our efforts were guided by their expertise and industry best practices.

The rebranding initiative was informed by research meticulously collected to reflect the collective voice of our membership. Through a multifaceted approach, including interviews, landscape analysis, secondary data research, member outreach, surveys, and brand workshops, we delved deep into understanding the aspirations, expectations, and challenges facing our community.

Our industry survey yielded valuable insights, with a resounding 85% of industry respondents expressing the importance of our association moving to embrace the broader vertical aviation industry and technological advancements in aviation. Armed with this feedback, we embarked on a journey to redefine our brand identity.

Interestingly, our research underscored a desire among members for a brand that was more “innovative,” “inspiring,” “modern,” and “memorable,” moving away from the perception of being merely “classic” and “safe.” These insights served as the cornerstone for shaping every aspect of our new brand—from the name and purpose to the colors, tagline, and even the name of our annual conference and trade show.

Crucially, each element of the new brand was unanimously supported by the Board of Directors, reflecting its shared commitment to chart a new course for our association. This collective agreement speaks volumes about the level of collaboration, consensus-building, and strategic foresight that underlies the rebranding effort.

This rebranding is not merely about changing our name. It is about embracing the future, fostering innovation, and positioning our association as a dynamic force leading the vertical aviation industry.

The process to rebrand our association has been a testament to the membership’s collective vision, resilience, and commitment to excellence. As we embark on this new chapter, we invite our members, potential members, and stakeholders to join us in shaping the future of vertical aviation.

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More information about the VAI brand can be found at Please contact the VAI leadership team with any questions or concerns.

Our rebranding process was driven by the voice of you, the member, with the goal of growing and expanding the value of your membership.

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Nicole Battjes

Nicole Battjes

Nicole Battjes is the owner and director of operations for Rainbow Helicopters, a Part 135 air tour operation based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the 2023–24 chair of the VAI Board of Directors. She is a dual-rated pilot, flight instructor, and check pilot with more than 3,500 flight hours in helicopters. An active industry volunteer and advocate, Nicole has worked on issues such as community compatibility and SMS implementation for small operators in the Hawaiian Islands.