Health and Safety at HAI HELI-EXPO 2021

As an aviation organization, HAI holds safety as a core value. And that concern for safety extends to your visit to HAI HELI-EXPO 2021. Here’s how HAI and New Orleans are working together to provide a safe environment for all Expo exhibitors and attendees.

What to Expect at the Convention Center

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, site of the show, was one of the first centers in the nation to achieve the GBAC (Global BioRisk Advisory Council) STAR accreditation. This means that the center staff is trained and equipped to meet the highest standards of the cleaning industry. And the center has put in place these measures aimed at ensuring your safety.

To ensure the health and welfare of our attendees and exhibitors, HAI has implemented some additional protocols:

  • Socially distanced show floor, meeting rooms, registration areas, and public spaces
  • Extra time built into the event schedule for thorough, repetitive cleaning
  • Additional mobile badge-printing stations to limit touch points
  • Highly visible hand-sanitizer stations throughout common areas and the show floor
  • Safety kit, including mask and hand sanitizer, provided for all attendees
  • Masks are required for entrance to the convention center and must be worn at all times, except when actively eating or drinking
  • Temperature checks at convention center entrances.

What to Expect in New Orleans

From the airport to your hotel to the city’s many restaurants, the New Orleans tourism industry is leading the way in preparedness and safety, with its guests’ safety top of mind.

HAI’s exclusive Expo hotel provider, onPeak, is equally committed to providing our guests with safe accommodations. In addition to links to your hotel’s health and safety information, onPeak has information on what to expect during a hotel stay and tips for a healthy visit.

HAI HELI-EXPO Status and Participation

Are you going to hold HAI HELI-EXPO?

Yes, HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 will take place as scheduled March 22–25 in New Orleans, with exhibits open March 23–25.

By partnering with the staff of the convention center, the city and state, and local businesses, we believe we can achieve a safe environment for the show. All mandatory health and safety protocols as well as those recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be followed and enforced in all public spaces within the convention center during the show in New Orleans. Our hotel partners, service providers, and the New Orleans and Louisiana governments have put in place their own health and safety plans for our participants.

All participants will be required to complete a daily Health Status Checklist before entering the convention center, confirming that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID and have not been knowingly exposed to anyone who has the virus. Their answers will be scanned as part of the screening process to enter the convention center. Anyone with answers that indicate an issue with their health and safety status will be immediately escorted to a separate area to meet with the on-site Convention Center medical team.

This is just one of the safety precautions being taken by HAI and the Convention Center. Visit the On-Site Health and Safety Policies section to learn more about what we’re doing to protect the health and safety of all HAI HELI-EXPO participants.

We understand that the pandemic is affecting everyone in different ways. If some individuals may not feel comfortable attending HAI HELI-EXPO under these conditions, we respect their decision. If others do not want to attend because they do not want to comply with our Health and Safety Guidelines and Checklist, we respect that decision too.

However, any participant attending the show MUST comply with our posted Health or Safety Guidelines and Checklist at all times. Failure to comply with these guidelines will lead to expulsion from the show and forfeiture of any registration or exhibit fees. Deliberate attempts to mislead HAI or convention center staff about your health and safety status will lead to expulsion and a permanent ban from future shows.

Why is HAI moving ahead with plans for the show?

HAI is committed to holding this event because it’s in the best interest of our membership and industry to create opportunities for business, education, and networking. Most importantly, we believe we can achieve a safe environment for the show. Visit the On-Site Health and Safety Policies section to learn more about what we’re doing to protect the health and safety of all HAI HELI-EXPO participants.

Will Louisiana/New Orleans allow an event of this size to take place?

HAI has been working with the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans on how to safely hold HAI HELI-EXPO since early 2020.

New Orleans is currently in a Modified Phase One of its coronavirus public health advisory, which is expected to expire on Jan 29. However, HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 is still more than two months away. The City’s prompt and responsible actions to restrict certain activities now is exactly how public health experts say that we will reduce infection levels to the point where fewer restrictions are necessary. Think of these latest restrictions as the treatment needed for New Orleans to return to lighter restrictions in Phase Two, which will allow HAI to host this event in the convention center.

We will communicate any change in the status of HAI HELI-EXPO or any additional health and safety guidelines from the federal, state, and local authorities as soon as they are shared with HAI.

The vaccine won't be widely distributed by March / the virus is still spreading / the pandemic is getting worse / other shows have cancelled or gone virtual.

As an aviation organization, HAI holds safety as a core value. Given all the precautions we will have in place, HAI believes that we can safely proceed with HAI HELI-EXPO in New Orleans in March. We are consulting with Dr. Allison Stock, a local epidemiologist who previously worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on health and safety issues.

We are carefully following directives from the CDC and evaluating medical directives as they are shared with the public. Visit the On-Site Health and Safety Policies section to learn more about what we’re doing to protect the health and safety of all HAI HELI-EXPO participants.

We understand that some individuals may be prohibited from attending while others may not feel comfortable attending. We respect and honor these decisions.

Cancellation Policies

Is HAI going to cancel or postpone the show?

HAI has no plans to cancel or postpone HAI HELI-EXPO. Actually, the staff is hard at work preparing for a great show in New Orleans. Guidance for the aircraft fly-in was just published last week, and we continue to process registrations for participants. However, we are carefully monitoring events, and we will immediately share any updates to our plans.

How and when will you notify people if the show is canceled?

HAI has developed a set of protocols and Health and Safety Guidelines that we believe will maintain a safe environment for our participants. We have no plans to cancel or postpone the show. However, we are carefully monitoring events, and we will immediately share any updates to our plans with our community via email, ROTOR Daily, and social media. We will also reach out directly to any confirmed participants or sponsors.

What will happen if I cancel my attendee registration? Can I get my money back?

Yes, HAI will return your attendee registration fee within 7 to 10 business days. Please send your cancellation request to member@rotor.org, and we will reply as soon as possible.

What will happen if I cancel my registration for education course(s). Can I get my money back?

Yes, HAI will return your education registration fee(s) within 7 to 10 business days. Please send your cancellation requests to education@rotor.org, and we will reply as soon as possible.

What will happen if I cancel my hotel room? Will there be penalties?

Most properties will allow you to cancel your reservation up to 72 hours before your arrival with no penalty or fees. Please check the specific property that holds your reservation to confirm their cancellation policy or contact heliexpohousing@onpeak.com.

Travel and Hospitality Partner Health and Safety Policies

What are the airlines doing to keep their passengers safe?

Each airline is committed to keeping its passengers safe. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is serviced by at least 15 airlines; you will find a link to each airlines’ COVID policies on the airport’s Travel Ready webpage.

What is the New Orleans Airport doing to keep the public safe?

Like the convention center, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is a GBAC STAR–accredited facility, which means it meets the highest standards for infectious disease prevent. The airport has a full suite of COVID protocols in place to protect the flying public. Additionally, TSA has instituted extensive measures to keep the public safe during screening.

What are the local transportation companies doing to keep the public safe?

A variety of New Orleans transportation organizations, including Uber, Lyft, MegaBus, and Amtrak, have published their health and safety plans to reassure you as you move about the city and region.

What are the local hotels doing to keep their guests safe?

All HAI HELI-EXPO partner hotels in New Orleans have published their plans for a healthy visit, all of which are available online for your review. Furthermore, our hotel booking partner, onPeak, has published additional tips for a healthy hotel stay as well as what you might expect from a hotel stay as you adjust to this new normal. The director of the New Orleans Marriott recently shared his facility’s plans to keep their guests safe.

Is in-room dining service available in local hotels?

Each hotel will provide varying options for their guests. If room-service dining is not available in your hotel, they will provide you with a list of local fine and casual dining options that will provide takeout options for your room. We suggest that you contact your preferred hotel directly to learn about their updated dining options.

On-Site Health and Safety Policies

How is HAI going to create a safe environment at HAI HELI-EXPO?

HAI takes its responsibility to protect the health and safety of its HAI HELI-EXPO participants very seriously. We appreciate your trust in us, and we have instituted some Health and Safety Guidelines to protect your safety during your stay in New Orleans:

  • All public spaces and surfaces will be thoroughly and frequently disinfected by specially trained personnel.
  • To aid with social distancing, we will have additional mobile badge printing stations that will be sanitized between each use.
  • Each participant will receive a complementary safety kit, providing them with a mask and hand sanitizer.
  • Highly visible hand-sanitizer stations will be stationed throughout the convention center.
  • Certain aisles in the convention center will be one way. Look for signage on the aisles that indicate a direction.
  • All HAI HELI-EXPO activities and events will be set up so as to enable social/physical distancing at all times. Attendance at sessions or meetings will be restricted to the number of chairs in that room. Chairs should be kept in their locations to allow for physical distancing. Handshakes and physical contact are discouraged.
  • Masks are required to be worn at all times by all participants and HAI staff while in the convention center, except when actively eating or drinking. There are no exceptions to this policy. Anyone violating this policy will be removed by security and banned from further attendance at the New Orleans show. All registration or exhibit fees will be forfeited.
  • Every person entering the convention center will have his or her temperature checked. Look for show signage at the entrances at Julia St (closest to Hilton Riverside), Lobby D, Lobby G (directly across from the Transportation Center), and Lobby I2 (directly across from Lot F). If your temperature is above 100.0, you will be denied entrance to the convention center. Once your temperature is checked and approved, you will receive a wristband for the day.
  • All participants will be required to complete a daily Health Status Checklist before entering the convention center, confirming that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID and have not been knowingly exposed to anyone who has the virus. Their answers will be scanned as part of the screening process to enter the convention center. Anyone with answers that indicate an issue with their health and safety status will be immediately escorted to a separate area to meet with the on-site Convention Center medical team.
  • If you see an unsafe condition while at the convention center, please contact an HAI staff member so we can immediately address it.
  • Anyone attending the show, either as an exhibitor or an attendee, MUST comply with our Health and Safety Guidelines at all times. Failure to comply with these guidelines will lead to expulsion from the show and forfeiture of any registration or exhibit fees.
  • Deliberate attempts to mislead HAI show management and staff or convention center staff about your exposure to COVID-19 or your health and safety status will lead to expulsion from this show and a permanent ban from future shows.

What can I expect HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 to look like?

Much of HAI HELI-EXPO will be the same as always: participants can expect to see the latest aircraft and technology, take advantage of education opportunities, and meet to discuss industry issues. However, we have made extensive changes in HOW those activities will take place, incorporating thorough health and safety procedures:

  • All public spaces and surfaces will be thoroughly and frequently disinfected by specially trained personnel.
  • To aid with social distancing, we will have additional mobile badge printing stations that will be sanitized between each use.
  • Each participant will receive a complementary safety kit, providing them with a mask and hand sanitizer.
  • Highly visible hand-sanitizer stations will be stationed throughout the convention center.
  • Certain aisles in the convention center will be one way. Look for signage on the aisles that indicate a direction.
  • All HAI HELI-EXPO activities and events will be set up so as to enable social/physical distancing at all times. Attendance at sessions or meetings will be restricted to the number of chairs in that room. Chairs should be kept in their locations to allow for physical distancing. Handshakes and physical contact are discouraged.
  • Masks are required to be worn at all times by all participants and HAI staff while in the convention center, except when actively eating or drinking. There are no exceptions to this policy. Anyone violating this policy will be removed by security and banned from further attendance at the New Orleans show. All registration or exhibit fees will be forfeited.
  • Every person entering the convention center will have his or her temperature checked. Look for show signage at the entrances at Julia St (closest to Hilton Riverside), Lobby D, Lobby G (directly across from the Transportation Center), and Lobby I2 (directly across from Lot F). If your temperature is above 100.0, you will be denied entrance to the convention center. Once your temperature is checked and approved, you will receive a wristband for the day.
  • All participants will be required to complete a daily Health Status Checklist before entering the convention center, confirming that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID and have not been knowingly exposed to anyone who has the virus. Their answers will be scanned as part of the screening process to enter the convention center. Anyone with answers that indicate an issue with their health and safety status will be immediately escorted to a separate area to meet with the on-site Convention Center medical team.
  • If you see an unsafe condition while at the convention center, please contact an HAI staff member so we can immediately address it.
  • Anyone attending the show, either as an exhibitor or an attendee, MUST comply with our Health and Safety Guidelines at all times. Failure to comply with these guidelines will lead to expulsion from the show and forfeiture of any registration or exhibit fees.
  • Deliberate attempts to mislead HAI show management and staff or convention center staff about your exposure to COVID-19 or your health and safety status will lead to expulsion from this show and a permanent ban from future shows.
  • As with every HAI HELI-EXPO, there will be an on-site medical team available to assist participants.

What is the convention center doing to keep HAI HELI-EXPO participants safe?

The New Orleans Convention Center has a full health and safety plan in place, and information about their protocols are updated frequently on their website. Its staff have undergone specific sanitation training as part of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, which certifies that the convention center meets the industry’s highest standards of infectious disease prevention. The center has contracted with Dr. Allison Stock, a highly respected epidemiologist who previously worked for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to consult on health and safety issues. Dr. Stock has been a great source of information about the partnerships in place between local businesses, the convention center, and the City of New Orleans to keep visitors safe.

What protocols are in place to keep HAI HELI-EXPO education sessions safe?

The organization of our education sessions on-site is one of the ways we’ve changed HAI HELI-EXPO. HAI’s education spaces will follow the same social distancing and health and safety protocols as we have in place on the exhibit floor and in other areas of the convention center. HAI has expanded the normal square footage of each education space to take into account social distancing requirements mandated by the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana.

What are local restaurants doing to keep their guests safe?

New Orleans was one of the first cities to proactively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with aggressive testing and social distancing policies. Here’s a list of New Orleans restaurants and their health and safety plans, which include use of masks by customers and staff, frequent sanitation, contactless service options, and social distancing. And remember, by late March, daytime temperatures in the Crescent City will reach the comfortable mid-seventies, enabling outdoor seating at restaurants and cafes. Local restaurants are looking forward to serving you with their world-famous cuisine.

Your Personal Responsibility

How can I stay safe at HAI HELI-EXPO?

Our Health and Safety Guidelines are designed to protect the health and safety of all HAI HELI-EXPO participants:

  • Masks are required to be worn at all times by all participants and HAI staff while in the convention center, except when actively eating or drinking. There are no exceptions to this policy. Anyone violating this policy will be removed by security and banned from further attendance at the New Orleans show. All registration or exhibit fees will be forfeited.
  • Every person entering the convention center will have his or her temperature checked. Look for show signage at the entrances at Julia St (closest to Hilton Riverside), Lobby D, Lobby G (directly across from the Transportation Center), and Lobby I2 (directly across from Lot F). If your temperature is above 100.0, you will be denied entrance to the convention center. Once your temperature is checked and approved, you will receive a wristband for the day.
  • All participants will be required to complete a daily Health Status Checklist each day before entering the convention center, confirming that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID and have not been knowingly exposed to anyone who has the virus. Their answers will be scanned as part of the screening process to enter the convention center. Anyone with answers that indicate an issue with their health and safety status will be immediately escorted to a separate area to meet with the on-site Convention Center medical team.
  • If you see an unsafe condition while at the convention center, please contact an HAI staff member so we can immediately address it.

If some individuals do not feel comfortable attending HAI HELI-EXPO under these conditions, we respect their decision. If others do not want to attend because they do not want to comply with our Health and Safety Guidelines, we respect that decision too.

However, anyone attending the show, either as an exhibitor or an attendee, MUST comply with our Health and Safety Guidelines at all times. Failure to comply with these guidelines will lead to expulsion from the show and forfeiture of any registration or exhibit fees. Deliberate attempts to mislead HAI show management and staff or convention center staff about your exposure to COVID-19 or your health and safety status will lead to expulsion from this show and a permanent ban from future shows.

Watch This Space for Additional Updates

Please visit this page often; updates will be added as additional information is obtained regarding all that HAI, the city of New Orleans, and local businesses are doing to keep you safe during your stay.