HAI Accreditation Program of Safety

A Premier Member Benefit

Leading the Way in Safety

It’s all about improving safety. Since 1948, Helicopter Association International (HAI) has brought together industry leaders within the helicopter community to help develop, support, and promote industry best practices through concentrated safety program participation. Over the past 50 years, this effort, along with enhanced operator training programs, better equipment, and internal quality assurance and auditing programs has led to an overall safer helicopter industry; as depicted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Accident/Incident statistics.

Earn Business & Trust

Become Accredited

HAI-APS Overview

A Member-Only Benefit

HAI-APS is based on two sets of performance standards: the International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), and the HAI-APS Helicopter Mission Specific Standards (HMSS). HAI developed these standards to address safety in specific missions flown by helicopter operators. To learn more about the International Business Aviation Council, the sponsoring organization of IS-BAO, click here.

Both standards easily scale to operations large and small and are performance based, allowing you maximum flexibility in determining how you reach the performance goals. HAI will mentor you through the process, suggesting next steps and helping to clarify the process.

HAI recognizes that protocols and practices designed for fixed-wing aviation are not always applicable to helicopter operations. In addition, the safety requirements and best practices of helicopter operators can vary from sector to sector. So we created the HMSS to provide helicopter operators with safety standards that specifically address their operational environments.

APS Standards Board

Accreditation Program of Safety

President & CEO, HAI

Jame A. Viola

James A. Viola joined Helicopter Association International (HAI) as President and CEO in January 2020. Prior to joining HAI, he most recently served as a Senior Executive for the Federal Aviation Administration, in the office of Aviation Safety, as director of General Aviation Safety Assurance. He was responsible for maintaining consistency and standardization in the application of safety oversight activities for the GA community. He was a government representative on both the International Helicopter Safety Team and the United States Helicopter Safety Team.

Viola’s aviation career began with the US Army, with the majority of his flying done as a special operations MH-6 and MH-47 helicopter pilot. He was promoted through positions of increasing responsibility, achieving the rank of colonel. His final military assignment was as Division Chief for Army Aviation Current Operations in the Pentagon.

A strong advocate for GA, Viola flies as often as he can. He splits his time flying between a Robinson Helicopter and an AG-5B Tiger airplane, depending on whether or not a runway is involved. He holds airline transport pilot ratings for helicopters and airplanes and is a dual-rated certificated flight instructor. He has accumulated more than 6,500 flight hours, which includes 1,100 with night-vision goggles.

Viola holds a Master's degree in Strategic Studies from the United States (U.S.) Army War College in Carlisle, PA; a Master's degree in International Relations from Auburn University in Montgomery, AL; a Master's degree in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University in Maxwell AFB, AL; and a Bachelor of Science from East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA.

Viola holds professional membership of the Pi Sigma Alpha, National Political Science Honor Society; Lifetime member of the Army Aviation Association of America; the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars; Military Officer Association of America; Society of Aviation and Flight Educators; National Association of Flight Instructors; and the Theta Chi Fraternity.

President, Nick Sabatini & Associates, LLC

Nick Sabatini

Nick Sabatini and Associates (NSA) is a leading aviation consultancy in providing independent advice and safety assessment services to organizations worldwide, including Part 121/135 air carriers, assisting Part 145 repair stations in obtaining STC approvals as well as other entities with certification expertise in Parts 21,23 and 25 operations.

Prior to establishing NSA, Nick Sabatini was appointed Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, on October 15, 2001; he served with distinction in that premier capacity until his retirement on January 3, 2009. For more than seven years, Mr. Sabatini was responsible for the certification, production approval, and continued airworthiness of aircraft; and the certification of pilots, mechanics, and others in safety-related aviation positions.

Nick is a helicopter pilot and currently holds an airline transport pilot certificate and the following ratings: airplane multi-engine land, rotorcraft-helicopter, DC-9, CE-500, BH206, EMB110, commercial privileges, airplane single-engine land, and flight instructor and ground instructor certificates.

Instructor Pilot, Examiner at Finmeccanica

Ed Newton

Newton’s aviation career began with his entrance into the U.S. Army Helicopter Flight Training Program in 1969. During his tour of service in the Republic of Vietnam he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and several Air Medals. In 1973 Newton joined Keystone Helicopter Corporation. He began his corporate flying career in 1976 with Interpace Corporation. Newton joined Honeywell in 1980 when the company purchased their first helicopter, an S-76A.

Newton has served on the HAI’s Fly Neighborly, Flight Operations Committees, served on the HAI Board of Directors, and was Chairman of the Board in 2006. He is a past Vice President of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council and was affiliated with the National Burn Victim Foundation and served on the Morristown, New Jersey Airport Advisory Committee.

Mr. Newton serves as an instructor pilot/examiner at Finmeccanica in the New York City area and supports the HAI-APS Program as a member of the Standards Board.


Accreditation Program of Safety

HAI Directory of Safety

Chris Hill

After an aviation career in the US Army and Coast Guard, Chris Hill oversaw aviation safety management systems throughout the USCG as aviation safety manager. He holds an ATP rating and has logged more than 5,000 flight hours, primarily in military and commercial helicopters. Chris joined HAI in 2018 as director of safety.
HAI Operations Coordinator

Ashten A. Brown