No pandemic paralysis here
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many daily activities to a halt while simultaneously forcing us to isolate and grounding our economies. There are many parts of the helicopter and UAS industry that are powering on regardless. Although the tourism and charter sectors are seeing big changes, helicopter air ambulance and utility operators are still carrying out their essential missions. It’s at times like these that we realize how much helicopters do for society.
There’ve been some significant changes in the HAI world since Jim Viola took the helm as your president and CEO on Jan. 16. What a first 90 days he’s had! Six months ago, could we have predicted the world we now live in, the way in which everything has shifted so quickly?
And there’s more change to come. Together, the HAI Board of Directors is focusing on new ways to support you, the HAI member. Although for some change is difficult, it’s also inevitable and so should be embraced.
The HAI Board of Directors has added another layer of oversight to the association’s financial strategy by forming the Finance and Risk Committee. This new committee will assist the board in making sound financial decisions and creating focused budgets. The Finance and Risk Committee will appoint an independent financial consultant to work with the HAI CFO to demystify financial statements. The goal is to ensure good governance and the application of internal controls, policies, and procedures that highlight, identify, and manage all of HAI’s financial risks, safeguarding the sustainability of your association.
We’ve also made some changes to the HAI working groups. They’re now charged with some key performance indicators and time-specific action items that will benefit the HAI membership as well as the industry in general. For example, the Training Working Group is working to lower the number of accidents stemming from inadvertent entry into instrument meteorological conditions (IIMC) by developing industry best practices for keeping pilots in visual meteorological conditions and, when that isn’t possible, for developing IFR transition plans as part of the preflight process.
The Training Working Group is also producing four free courses about IIMC prevention and recovery that members can use in their everyday operations. I can’t wait to see what comes out of their efforts. Other HAI working groups are adjusting their focus to pursue similar projects.
The process for voting in HAI elections is also on our agenda. It’s about time we use technology in our elections and cast votes electronically—no need to hold up your little paddle. (We were going to have members vote by drone but thought that might be a little too soon!)
April saw the HAI Board of Directors meet via Zoom.com, where we all dialed in to meet “face-to-face” and carry out your association’s business. It’s a new way of doing business, and I have to say I won’t miss the jet lag. Sometimes change is good.
Be safe out there, both in the air and on the ground.