The governing body of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has elected a new chairman, and accepted its first member from the rotorcraft sector.
GAMA’s board of directors announced the decision to extend membership to rotorcraft manufacturers Nov. 14, and has accepted Bell Helicopter as its first member from the sector. Bell, of Fort Worth, Texas, was the first manufacturer to obtain commercial certification for a helicopter, and has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to customers around the world since the company was founded in 1935.
GAMA’s board announced separately that it has elected Caroline Daniels, chairman and CEO of Aircraft Technical Publishers (ATP), as GAMA’s chairman for 2012. Daniels previously served as the board’s vice chairman, and chaired GAMA’s safety committee. Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of business and general aviation at GE Aviation, becomes GAMA’s vice chairman. He also will continue to chair the technical policy committee.
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce addressed the addition of rotorcraft to GAMA’s membership.
“We are very excited about working formally to represent this vital and growing sector of the industry,” he said. “GAMA has enjoyed a good working relationship with the rotorcraft community for years and already coordinates with the major helicopter manufacturers on issues of common interest such as certification processes, Safety Management System (SMS) requirements, and accident investigation.”
Growth from rotorcraft manufacturers joining GAMA would allow the organization “to better advocate for and promote the interests of the entire general aviation industry throughout the world,” he said.
Bunce said GAMA also looked forward to working as a partner with industry group Helicopter Association International on safety initiatives and efforts to “increase the economic reach” of the sector.
“Rotorcraft are a vital component of general aviation across the globe and working more closely with HAI will only enhance our ability to tackle the tough challenges before us,” he said.
HAI President Matt Zuccaro also welcomed the GAMA announcement as “a great benefit to our collective membership and the international rotorcraft community as we continue to focus on safety and growth of the industry.”
In addition to its first member from the rotorcraft industry, GAMA also welcomed Jet Support Services Inc. of Chicago, Ill., and float manufacturer Wipaire Inc. of South St. Paul, Minn., as members.