A parliamentary debate into offshore helicopter safety has heard calls for fatal accident inquiries to begin more quickly.
Isles MSP Tavish Scott made the argument during last week’s debate over the ‘Back Home Safe’ campaign staged by the Unite union.
His calls follow last year’s tragedy off Sumburgh. An FAI in Aberdeen into the death of 16 men in a separate helicopter crash in 2009 only finished hearing evidence last week. A final determination is due in the coming months.
Speaking in parliament Mr Scott said: “Three men and a woman died in the Super Puma helicopter crash last August at Garths Ness off Sumburgh.
“I cannot conceive of the circumstances for the families of those three men and a woman if they have to wait five years for a fatal accident inquiry to conclude, as was the case with the FAI that is taking place into the Peterhead crash of 2009. That cannot be right.
“I think that members of all parties would agree on the need to bring matters to a head much more quickly than has been the case in the past. I certainly cannot imagine how difficult it would be to go through all those years of not quite knowing what happened.”
Mr Scott also took the opportunity during the debate to reiterate his desire for a full public inquiry into helicopter safety.
“Given all the separate inquiries that are going on, there seems to be some sense in pulling them together to ensure that safety is absolutely the number one priority.
“That very reasonable observation has been made by many people who work in the industry—both those who work at more senior levels and those who get on helicopters day in, day out.”