Loganair is being urged to install defibrillators on its aircraft in a bid to offer a rapid response to passengers who could suffer a heart attack.
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has written to the airline calling for the equipment to be installed, which he says is in line with industry practice.
Mr McArthur said seven out of ten major airlines in the UK, including British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair carry defibrillators.
“It is disappointing therefore that Loganair and Flybe appear to be out of step with other UK carriers,” Mr McArthur said.
“The position seems all the more unsustainable when one considers that one of the main users of Loganair’s services are patients traveling between the islands and mainland Scotland for treatment and care.
“We know that defibrillators can save lives, but are best used in the first ten minutes of a heart attack. Waiting for an emergency landing can, therefore, be life threatening.”
According to charity the British Heart Foundation the main factor using a defibrillator is “the speed with which the shock is given.”
Chairwoman of the charity’s Shetland branch, Dianne Watt, said defibrillators were becoming more common, including on fishing boats and in leisure centres.
“On a fishing boat they’re doing quite a stressful job and it does happen that people have heart attacks,” she said,
“It’s becoming more common that this piece of equipment is everywhere. I would say yes, I think it would be very useful.
“It’s not only to have it [the defibrillator], but they have to have people trained to use it.”
Loganair said it would give “careful consideration” to the matter.
Managing director Jonathan Hinkles, said: “Any introduction of new equipment to an aircraft requires an extensive process including a technical evaluation of power supplies, identifying on-board stowage which doesn’t compromise access to other emergency equipment and aircraft certification requirements.
“It is impossible for us to give a more meaningful response at this time as the press requests for comment were received immediately after the correspondence from the MSP for Orkney to initiate this conversation.”