N. Sea workers’ trade union launches petition to keep Superpuma 225 helicopters grounded

Scotland’s biggest union, Unite, has set up a petition to stop all commercial flights of the Superpuma H225LP and AS332 L2 helicopters in order to provide reassurance to North Sea offshore workers that their safety is paramount.

This comes after the British civil aviation authority (CAA) announced plans to lift the ban last month.

The Unite union said the offshore workforce did not have confidence in the one of these helicopters crashed in April 2016 off Norway, killing 13 people.

Unite and other offshore unions continue to demand the highest possible safety regulations and training when it comes to helicopter journeys involving offshore workers and this decision jeopardises this. 

Tommy Campbell, Unite regional officer, said: “Our members are telling us that they have no confidence in the safety of these airframes and neither do their families. Offshore workers deserve to return back home safe to loved ones from working in the North Sea. 

“We need not only the usual assurances from the oil and gas operators, we need them to demonstrate that safety comes first and that they will not support the reintroduction of the Superpuma H225LP and AS332 L2 helicopters. 

“Until a full investigation is complete and the results are known there should be no ‘Business as Usual’ return to commercial operations in the UKCS involving these airframes.” 

Transporting offshore workers to and from oil and gas installations should be a safe and routine practice. However, Unite claims that the root cause of the gearbox problem that caused the crash in April 2016 remains unknown and as long as it does they demand the aircraft should remain grounded.

17 Aug 2017

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