Industry representatives have recommended that Super Puma helicopters should be cleared to resume flying, following their grounding after last Friday’s crash.
According to the Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) a campaign will now be started to engage with the offshore workforce.
Les Linklater of HSSG said there were almost 16,000 people offshore currently, with over 12,000 in the most affected areas (central and northern North Sea).
Over 250 people had spent more than 21 days offshore. That was increasing daily and they and their families were wondering when they are going to get home.
Mr Linklater said: “We have a duty of care to all offshore workers both in terms of their safety and their well-being; we must consider the cumulative risk of the ‘time out’.
“The individual helicopter operating companies will now work with their customers, to ensure the correct information and confidence-building communication is available, sensitive to the individual needs of the offshore workforce, before returning to full commercial passenger service.”
Meanwhile the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has confirmed that the combined voice and flight data recorder from the crashed helicopter would be taken to its Farnborough headquarters for analysis.
The “black box”, as it is more commonly known, was recovered as we went to press yesterday.