National Business Aviation Association president and CEO Ed Bolen released the following after learning that Matt Zuccaro – who in June 2019 announced his retirement as president and CEO of Helicopter Association International (HAI) – had passed away.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Matt’s family and friends at this difficult moment,” Bolen said. “Matt was a patriot, a leader, a consummate professional and a friend, who will be greatly missed.”
Zuccaro’s more than 50 years of aviation experience began with his service in the US army with the 7/17 Air Calvary unit in Vietnam, for which he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars and 19 Air Medals.
He later became an instructor at the Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, AL.
Following his military career, Zuccaro’s civilian aviation experience ranged from commercial and business aviation to public service helicopter operations.
He served at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in operations management at John F. Kennedy International Airport and PANYNJ heliports and was a past president of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council.
Zuccaro led HAI for 15 years as the association’s sixth president before announcing his retirement, which became effective in January of this year. He continued to work with HAI and its new leader, James A. ‘Jim’ Viola, and most recently participated in HAI’s annual Heli-Expo convention in late January.
He received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his long career, including the NBAA Pilot Safety Award and HAI Pilot Safety Award for 10,000 hours of an accident- and violation-free flight hours.