Dallas, Texas, February 28, 2006 – After only two days, HELI-EXPO 2006 has already broken all attendance and exhibitor records. The show will conclude today at 4:00 p.m. As of the end of Monday, Feb. 27, 15,833 visitors have attended HELI-EXPO. Around 520 exhibitors showcased their products and services in approximately 220,000 net square feet of exhibit space. There was a total of 48 helicopters displayed on the show floor.
Exhibitors reported high levels of activity at their booths, and vendors were able to interact with thousands of consumers on the floor. HAI committee meetings and educational seminars were well attended, with over 600 registrants participating in the Professional Education Series. This year's HELI-EXPO Job Fair and Mentoring Program was also a huge success, with a record of 30 employers and over 850 jobseekers participating. The HELI-EXPO job fair allowed jobseekers to meet with employers and discuss opportunities in the civil helicopter industry.
The Annual General Membership Meeting was held on opening day. The slate of candidates for the three open spots on the HAI Board of Directors was presented and each candidate was permitted to make a short speech. Voting took place throughout the day, with the winners being announced the following morning. David Chevalier, of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, and Mark Gibson, of Timberland Logging, were elected to the represent the regular commercial category of membership. George Pisa, of American International Group, was elected to represent the corporate-private regular membership. In addition, Ed Newton was elected as the new Chairman, Michael Suldo was elected Vice Chairman, Patrick Corr was elected Treasurer, and Mark Gibson was elected Assistant Treasurer.
The Salute to Excellence Awards celebration was held on Feb. 27. The highlight of the banquet was a video tribute to the participants of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Those participants who were present were asked to come to the front of the room, where they were recognized with a standing ovation. The banquet also featured a giveaway for a brand new MINI Cooper. Hal Freybe, of Computer Science Corporation, was the lucky winner.
Final numbers for HELI-EXPO 2006 will be tallied next week. HAI staff members will soon begin preparing for HELI-EXPO 2007, which will take place in Orlando, Florida, March 1-3.