. Viola replaces Matthew S. Zuccaro, who announced his retirement last fall. Viola most recently served as director of General Aviation (GA) Safety Assurance for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In this role, he oversaw 78 Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs) and 2,500 employees across the United States and was responsible for maintaining consistency and standardization in the application of safety oversight activities for the GA community. Additionally, he ensured stakeholder and public needs were met quickly and efficiently and was responsible for starting the US Helicopter Safety Team (USHST), serving as the initial government co-chair.
“When Matt announced his retirement, the board knew that replacing him would be no easy task. We had to find a dynamic, innovative CEO who has both vision and passion,” says Jan Becker, HAI’s board chair. “We sought someone able to take up the challenge of leading HAI forward to meet the needs of a globally changing industry. With Jim, we found that leader, as well as one who understands and supports HAI’s safety values. Viola’s three-to-five year vision for HAI encompasses a strategic plan for member service initiatives. It also acknowledges the ongoing dynamic changes throughout vertical-lift aviation, including unmanned aircraft systems, and the contributions of industry manufacturers and suppliers.
“Under Jim’s stewardship, HAI will see growth in international outreach to our membership, along with efforts to support the vertical-lift industry around the world,” concluded Becker. “The HAI Board of Directors are tremendously excited that Jim is joining us to work on behalf of our members.”