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HAI restructures operations department, names Hertzendorf as VP


September 3, 2020
By Helicopters Staff
Mike Hertzendorf, a commercial instrument rotorcraft and private single-engine land pilot, VP of operations, Helicopter Association International. (Photo: Helicopter Association International)

Helicopter Association International has hired Michael Hertzendorf (U.S. Army, Ret.) as vice president of operations. He will oversee HAI’s work for its members in flight operations, maintenance and technology, safety, and education. Hertzendorf will also work closely with HAI’s government affairs department to help ensure members across the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) industry are protected from overburdensome regulations.

After a 29-year career in the U.S. Army as a special operations aviator, Hertzendorf most recently served as CEO of NUAIR, where he was responsible for the integration, synchronization, and execution of all activities necessary to develop a National UAS Traffic Management System within New York State’s 50-Mile UAS Corridor. HAI notes his background in both manned aviation and unmanned aircraft systems provides Hertzendorf with a unique perspective.

“This is a great time of excitement in the international VTOL industry – exciting and challenging, as we integrate an entirely new class of aircraft into the airspace while ensuring the safety of current operators,” said James Viola, president and CEO of HAI. “Mike’s history as an army aviator and leader, along with his work at NUAIR, means that he understands the issues and can represent the needs of both groups.”

Hertzendorf has more than 20 years of command and leadership experience, finishing his army service as chief of staff of the 82nd Airborne Division. He holds a master’s degree in national security and strategy from the US Army War College, a master’s degree in public administration from Murray State University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ithaca College.

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Hertzendorf is a commercial instrument rotorcraft and private single-engine land pilot, and he volunteers on the Military Advisory Committee for Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit supporting youth, families, and communities affected by terrorism and traumatic loss.

“I look forward to advancing HAI’s global presence as well as incorporating future VTOL platforms,” said Hertzendorf. “With their experience in rotorcraft and low-altitude operations, HAI members are well positioned to take advantage of advancements in VTOL technology that I believe will ultimately improve the economic viability of our industry.”

HAI also announced Chris Martino is now senior director of operations and international affairs, while Zac Noble has been promoted to director of maintenance and technology. HAI’s education program has moved to the operations department, and Greg Brown has been promoted to director of education.

“Our operations department is vitally important to HAI’s mission, which is to support and promote the VTOL industry,” said Viola. “With their many years of experience on the flight line and in the hangar, our operations staff have the expertise to confront the day-to-day issues that face commercial and general aviation operators, as well as manufacturers.”


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