February 22, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
The Helicopter Association International’s annual Heli-Expo, taking place Feb. 21 through 23 in Houston, has thus far shown mixed signals, compared to previous conventions.
This year’s attendance, HAI says, is “within one to three percent of last year’s 17,000 attendees,” meaning visitors have so far trended downward. On the other hand, this year’s Heli-Expo attracted 595 exhibitors; last year, there were 570 exhibitors at the convention.
Heli-Expo features a vast array of industry exhibitors, but there are also safety, maintenance, pilot training, and technology seminars. A job fair is also conducted, complete with an event featuring industry outreach to students.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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