Our Advocacy Legacy

NFACAHS International advocates for issues of importance to vertical flight. AHS has a proud legacy of advocacy over the past quarter-century, championing the advancement of vertical flight technology. Below are a few examples of AHS leadership.

In 1994, AHS — working with then Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology George Singley III and NASA Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Dr. Wes Harris — supported the creation of the National Rotorcraft Technology Center (NRTC), as well as the Rotorcraft Industry Technology Agreement, the predecessor of today's Vertical Lift Consortium

Beginning in 1997, the AHS VP of Infrastructure, Dr. John Leverton, was instrumental in leading necessary reforms to ICAO Annex 14 (Heliports). Recently, he led efforts reviewing new international proposed standards relating to helicopter sounds and emissions. We are currently working with other organizations to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to again permit single engine Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) certifications.

In 2002, the Society, working with Congress and industry, was instrumental in restoring funding for NASA rotorcraft programs. Subsequently, when the National Full Scale Aerodynamics Complex was closed in 2003, AHS championed the transfer of the NFAC to the Department of Defense and assisted in restoring funding for its operations. AHS also successfully advocated for additional support for research by NASA's Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology project on noise, safety and propulsion of rotorcraft and electric VTOL (eVTOL). 

In 2005, the AHS Montreal/Ottawa Chapter hosted a specialists’ meeting on helicopter safety. Subsequently, AHS joined with HAI, Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration, EASA and many other agencies worldwide to create the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). IHST's goal is to reduce the worldwide helicopter accident rate towards zero accidents. AHS is the Secretariat for this international group and there have been demonstrable improvements in safety — 30-50% — through the efforts of this important group.

In 2008, AHS worked closely with Congress and industry, and succeeded in adding language to the 2009 Defense Authorization Bill that directed the Pentagon to begin planning for the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. AHS has continued working with industry and Congress to bolster funding and momentum for FVL. One indirect outcome of this work was the VLC, of which AHS is a key member. AHS was successful in getting $14M of additional Congressional funding for FVL in FY15 (as well as a plus-up for NASA vertical lift of about $7M) in concert with the VLC. For each of the budgets since then, AHS and our partners have secured $10M or more per year in additional funding for the Army's advanced aviation technology funding line for FVL, for a total of $50M (FY15-18). 

Since 2014, AHS has led efforts for electric VTOL aircraft through a series of annual Transformative Vertical Flight Worshops, with the 6th Annual Electric VTOL Symposium planned for Jan. 2019. AHS consulted on the Uber Elevate White paper and initiated the comprehensive Electric VTOL News website and e-newsletter to inform the community of this transformative VTOL technology. AHS continues its role as thought leader and advocate for electric and hybrid-electric VTOL. 

AHS remains active in supporting IHST, VLC, Future Vertical Lift and other critical joint initiatives.

Updated 4/3/18