HAI Now Accepting Nominations for 2023 Salute to Excellence Awards Program

Alexandria, Va. (June 3, 2022) – Do you know a team or individual in the rotorcraft or drone community who are outstanding in their profession? Or perhaps they conducted an exceptional operation that made the news? Helicopter Association International (HAI) is hoping you’ll tell us their story!

HAI is pleased to announce that it is now accepting nominations for its annual Salute to Excellence Awards program. The deadline for all nominations is Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022. Award descriptions and criteria, as well as additional information about the awards process, are available at rotor.org/salute.

These awards recognize superior achievement across the rotorcraft industry and are open to individuals, teams, or organizations who work with helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft systems (UAS, or drones). Anyone may submit a nomination, and anyone may be nominated. HAI membership is not required.

“Our selection committee looks for people whose passion and desire for excellence has made a difference for their colleagues, their community, or the industry,” says Dan Sweet, HAI’s director of public relations and communications and Salute to Excellence program coordinator. “Nearly every one of us knows a person who meets that qualification. Did they make others better through guidance, instruction, or example? Did they perform a heroic act, or did they produce exceptional work over the course of their career? Tell us about them, and we may be able to honor their contribution to the industry with a Salute to Excellence award.”

The Salute to Excellence program includes the following categories:

  • Matthew S. Zuccaro Land & LIVE Award
  • Communications Award
  • W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award
  • Maintenance Award
  • Law Enforcement Award
  • Golden Hour Award
  • Safety Award
  • Humanitarian Service Award
  • Pilot of the Year Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Here’s a pro tip,” adds Sweet. “To produce a nomination package with the best chances of success, we strongly recommend that you explain HOW their work demonstrated the highest level of professionalism. Tell us WHY their work was important to their colleagues, their customers, their community, or the industry. It’s not enough to simply say, ‘This person is great and deserves an award.’ Winning nominations include supporting materials such as letters of recommendation from others who support the nomination, news stories, video clips, etc., that make a solid case for the nominee’s selection as the outstanding entrant in the chosen category.”

The Salute to Excellence winners will be honored at HAI HELI-EXPO 2023 in Atlanta Mar. 6–9 (with exhibits open March 7–9).


 HAI is the professional trade association for the international helicopter industry and represents more than 1,100 companies and over 16,000 industry professionals in more than 65 countries. Each year, HAI members safely operate more than 3,700 helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft approximately 2.9 million hours. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective method of commerce and to the advancement of the international helicopter community.