SNP must back workforce on helicopter safety – MSP



30 March 2019

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has called on SNP Ministers to give their backing to the offshore workforce and trade unions in their campaign for a public inquiry into helicopter safety in the North Sea, ten years on from the Super Puma crash near Peterhead which killed all 16 passengers.

Speaking after quizzing Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse at Holyrood , he said:

“The Scottish Government will not back a public inquiry into helicopter safety because they claim that industry-led reviews are adequate. Offshore trade unions know that the only way to reduce the risk to their members and all offshore workers is to hold a comprehensive inquiry, which will include evidence from the workforce, into all aspects of helicopter transportation in the North Sea.

“It is almost ten years since a Super Puma helicopter crashed near Peterhead on 1 April 2009, killing all 16 passengers. Since then four more offshore workers have died in a ditching off Shetland, in 2013, and another thirteen lives were lost off Norway in 2016. Yet the Scottish Government still refuses to back the North Sea workforce, and their calls for a public inquiry.

“There is a strong case for a public inquiry to ensure that helicopter journeys in the North Sea are as safe as possible, and we will not stop making that case to the Scottish and UK Governments. I urge SNP Ministers to give their backing to this important public inquiry, and show their support for North Sea workers and their families.”