WASHINGTON, DC, November 14, 2011 – The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced today that its Board of Directors has voted to expand the Association’s membership to include rotorcraft manufacturers and to accept one of the world’s leading companies, Bell Helicopter, as the first GAMA member from this sector of general aviation products.
“We are very excited about working formally to represent this vital and growing sector of the industry,” said GAMA President and CEO, Pete Bunce. “GAMA has enjoyed a good working relationship with the rotorcraft community for years and already coordinates with the major helicopter manufacturers on issues of common interest such as certification processes, Safety Management System (SMS) requirements, and accident investigation. Growing our membership to include rotorcraft manufacturers allows GAMA to better advocate for and promote the interests of the entire general aviation industry throughout the world.”
Bunce, added, “"We welcome Bell as the first rotorcraft manufacturer to join GAMA and look forward to working with them on behalf of this great industry. We also look forward to partnering with the rotorcraft operating community, in particular the Helicopter Association International, on efforts to bolster safety and increase the economic reach of the industry. Rotorcraft are a vital component of general aviation across the globe and working more closely with HAI will only enhance our ability to tackle the tough challenges before us.”
Matt Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International (HAI), said, “HAI is pleased that GAMA has expanded its membership criteria to include rotorcraft. This partnership between HAI and GAMA will be a great benefit to our collective membership and the international rotorcraft community as we continue to focus on safety and growth of the industry.”
GAMA’s board has accepted Bell Helicopter as its first rotorcraft member. A Textron Company, Bell was founded in 1935 and was the first manufacturer to obtain certification for a commercial helicopter. Over its history, the company has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to customers around the world. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Bell Helicopter has additional plants in Amarillo, Texas and Mirabel, Canada. In addition, they maintain key logistics supply and service centers in Europe, Canada, and Singapore as well as in the United States.