MSP calls for helicopter safety comparison

North East MSP Alison McInnes has called on the Scottish Government to consider researching how the safety record of North Sea helicopters compares to that of other countries.

The Liberal Democrat, responding to the ministerial statement on the Shetland crash which claimed four lives, said the Super Puma fleet manufacturers, Eurocopter, have assured her that their global safety record is excellent.

However, she added that the firm recognise that with five incidents in as many years on flights between Scots heliports and North Sea oil and gas installations, questions arise about whether something exceptional is going on in the area.

Mrs McInnes said afterwards: “Thousands of my constituents work in the offshore oil and gas industry and everyone in the North-east knows someone connected to it.

“Many will be understandably apprehensive about their journeys to and from work.

“The importance of the oil and gas industry cannot be underestimated. However, we cannot be complacent and safety must remain the paramount concern.

“The comparative safety record of the aircraft must be closely examined and the industry must quickly establish whether any further safety improvements can be made.”