Calls grow for inquiry into helicopter safety

A leading union is stepping up calls for a public inquiry into helicopter safety after a number of incidents in 2013.

Calls for a public inquiry into helicopter safety have grown following several fatal accidents involving various models of the aircraft this year. Picture: Getty

The Rail Maritime and Transport union said there is increasing public and political support for an inquiry, covering onshore as well as the North Sea offshore industry.

The union said the issue has become more urgent following the police helicopter crash in Glasgow last month, in which 10 people died.

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RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “In light of recent events, including the helicopter tragedies both offshore and onshore, and the grounding of helicopters in many areas of the country, the case for a full public inquiry dealing with helicopter safety, and the associated safety issues in the North Sea field, is overwhelming.

“Cost should not be a barrier to establishing the full facts and assisting us in developing a safety regime that takes us forward in an atmosphere of trust and co-operation where the safety of both the workforce and members of the public is absolutely paramount.”

The union has written to Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, seeking his full support for a public inquiry.