Scottish Government rejects calls for helicopter inquiry

The rotor from the Super Puma which crashed near Bergen in 2016
The rotor from the Super Puma which crashed near Bergen in 2016

The Scottish Government has rejected calls for a public inquiry into North Sea helicopter safety.

A total of 33 offshore workers have died in helicopter incidents in the last decade, all involving the Super Puma model, which is no longer in operation in the UK sector.

The Unite and RMT unions, joined by north-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald, have been seeking Holyrood support for a UK inquiry into whether “commercial pressures” were jeopardising safety.

The group argued there has been a “serious decline” in workforce confidence in offshore transport.

Aviation safety is under control of the UK Government so it is Westminster that the group ultimately has to convince.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse and transport secretary Michael Matheson have met with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) respectively to discuss the issue.

In a letter to Lewis Macdonald, Mr Wheelhouse said there is ongoing work being carried out by the industry so a further review or inquiry “would not be helpful”.

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