Photo: HAI/Tony Ramage

HAI began in Burbank, California, on Dec. 13, 1948, as the Helicopter Council. The organization’s name was changed to the California Helicopter Association (CHA) the following year, with membership available to helicopter operators in the state. Dues were $10 a year.

Before long, as the helicopter industry developed, the CHA outgrew its name. In 1951, the association’s leadership polled members, who voted to open membership to all commercial helicopter operators and manufacturers in the United States and the US territories. That same year, the association’s first member recruitment effort—a direct-mail piece—was a success and led to another name change. With 17 commercial operators and 3 associate members across the country representing a fleet of 50 helicopters, the Helicopter Association of America (HAA) was born. Dues remained $10 a year.

Countdown to HAI’s 75th anniversary: 61 days!

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