House of Commons
COMMERCIAL PRESSURE ON OFFSHORE HELICOPTER SAFETY
EDM #2279
Tabled 08 April 2019
2017-19 Session
That this House notes the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) review of its CAP1145 measures introduced in 2014 to improve commercial offshore helicopter safety as a result of a series of incidents involving Super Puma helicopters in the North Sea which claimed twenty lives in four years; recalls that CAP1145 included changes to emergency breathing systems, emergency floating equipment and seating but only recommended self-regulation in response to helicopter operators’ concerns over commercial pressures; notes that offshore workers’ confidence in the safety of helicopter transport has declined since 2014; supports the view of the RMT and Unite trade unions that a failure to fully assess the safety impact of commercial pressures on offshore helicopter operations combined with CAP1145’s focus on survivability rather than prevention of helicopter accidents risks entrenching workers’ safety concerns; pays tribute to the victims of those tragedies, including the thirteen crew and offshore workers in the Norwegian sector who died in a Super Puma accident on 29 April 2016; notes that although Super Pumas are no longer in use over the North Sea, new helicopter models are some years away from introduction; and calls on the Government to launch an independent public inquiry into offshore helicopter safety, covering the crucial area of commercial pressure, in order to effectively address offshore workers’ concerns over the safety of offshore helicopter transport to economically vital offshore energy installations and vessels.