David York, HAI's Vice President of Regulations and International Affairs, and José Orozco, HAI’s Operations and Safety Assistant , are in Santiago attending FIDAE, Chile’s international air and space exhibition. This 16th biannual aviation fair is one of Latin America's most important aviation gatherings and brings together industries from around the world to exhibit the latest developments in aviation, defense, and space technology.
Orozco and York have joined forces with Association of Chilean Helicopters (ACHHEL) President José de la Fuente and a group of the Chilean helicopter association’s directors and members to distribute safety information and promotional material about helicopters and the many services they provide in the varied Chilean environment. Orozco and York have been attending meetings and forums and talking with individuals from all over Latin America and the world.
ACHHEL was formed in 2008 to provide a common industry voice for Chilean operators and immediately became an HAI Affiliate Member organization. Since its inception, HAI has been working closely with it to provide guidance, promote safety, and help address challenges facing the Chilean helicopter industry. ACHHEL invited HAI to participate in FIDAE as a joint exhibitor representing the civil international helicopter industry.
Fueled by unprecedented economic growth, Chile — like many other Latin American countries — has seen an exponential growth in civil rotorcraft aviation. Helicopters are playing an instrumental role in developing infrastructure and supporting the offshore oil exploration and mining industries. Helicopters have also been used widely in combating crime, serving as air ambulances, and performing tourism and agriculture work.
Already this week — with three more days still to go — thousands of attendees have visited the booth hosted by ACHHEL and shared by HAI and seven of ACHHEL’s 25 member–operating companies.
“We didn’t know what to expect here at FIDAE,” said York. “This was our first visit here, but we have been welcomed warmly — not just by ACHHEL, but also by the crowds of attendees who want to learn more about helicopters.”