• Jim Norrie (left) has taken over the AHIA presidency from Ray Cronin OAM (right). (Steve Hitchen)
    Jim Norrie (left) has taken over the AHIA presidency from Ray Cronin OAM (right). (Steve Hitchen)

United Aero Helicopters Managing Director Jim Norrie has become the new president of the Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) after Ray Cronin OAM stepped down from the post last week.

Norrie was confirmed as the new president at an AHIA board meeting held at the close of the RotorTech convention on the Gold Coast on Thursday, 

Vice president Myles Tomkins also retired, replaced by McDermott Aviation Contract Manager Ian Sheffield.

Former SkyTec CEO Alanna McKenna, Whitsunday Helicopter director Steve Davis and Heliflite Sales Director Robert Bentley-Johnston were all accepted as new board members.

Cronin had been vice president or president of AHIA for 10 years prior to stepping down. He paid tribute to the work of Myles Tomkins at the AHIA conference at RotorTech, 

"Myles has been a great support to me and has contributed an enormous amount to industry consultation as well," Cronin said. "His experience will no doubt be missed, but we will hand over to fresh blood ... and we wish them all the very best and we're sure that we've set-up a very solid structure for them to move forward.

"When we came in, the bank account stood at -$35,000, but we're up around $200,000 at the moment, so we've got the association in a very sustainable position."

AHIA was set-up by then convenor Rob Rich in 2012 after the death of well-known ABC helicopter pilot Gary Ticehurst in a crash near Lake Eyre.

It took over the rotary industry mantle from the defunct Helicopter Association of Australia (HAA).

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