MP welcomes helicopter safety measures

Gordon MP Sir Malcolm Bruce has welcomed major changes aimed at improving offshore helicopter safety.

The announcement from the Civil Aviation Authority follows a series of North Sea helicopter incidents in recent years, including a Super Puma crash off Shetland last August, which claimed four lives.

The measures include a ban on flights during severe weather and changes to the seating of passengers.

Sir Malcolm said: “This is a thorough and comprehensive report, which makes a number of worthwhile recommendations.

“One of the suggestions I made when I met with the Secretary of State for Transport and the CAA was that passengers should be seated next to a window to enable them to make the easiest possible exit in the event of a ditching. I am pleased to note that this is one of the recommendations the CAA makes in its report.

“Issues relating to restrictions on flying during severe weather conditions will be challenging, but I hope that the industry will be able to adjust their operations accordingly. I hope that the regulators and industry will similarly work together to make the changes to pilot training that the CAA suggests.

“Many of my constituents in Gordon work offshore. There are very few realistic alternatives to helicopter transport for most of them – it is thus very important that such transport is as safe as it can be. This report is a positive step in that direction.”