Northern Isles politicians have held a meeting with senior managers at the Civil Aviation Authority to press the need for clarity on safety measures.
The meeting comes in the aftermath of several recent incidents on flights to and from the isles and follows the revelation that pilots’ union Balpa put in writing its concerns about Loganair aircraft.
Concerns about the standard of the service had already been debated in both the Scottish and Westminster parliaments. This week discussions were held between Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and his Orkney counterpart Liam McArthur and the CAA, which oversees and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the United Kingdom.
At Monday’s meeting the CAA confirmed that Loganair, which operates the lifeline flights between the isles and the mainland, meets all European safety requirements.
The Northern Isles representatives stressed that public confidence in the safety and reliability of their lifeline air services is of paramount importance.
In a joint statement the three parliamentarians said: “This was a useful discussion with senior representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority. It enabled us to relay some of the concerns that are being expressed by our constituents and to seek assurances that these are taken seriously by the airline and the regulator.
“The Civil Aviation Authority clarified to us that Loganair’s services meet European safety requirements. They further confirmed that the CAA remains in close contact with all commercial airlines, including Loganair, on a continual basis to provide safety oversight and advice.
“Loganair has acknowledged that improving reliability of their services is an absolute priority. This will, of course, require action on a number of fronts.
“In the meantime, we remain determined to keep representing the interests and views of our constituents, who depend on these lifeline services.”