Unite urges all MSPs to oppose Super Puma return

A trade union has urged all MSPs to support efforts to prevent the return of Super Puma helicopters to the North Sea.

Unite said it had written to politicians asking them to support a members’ business motion tabled by north-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald.

Mr Macdonald called for a parliamentary debate on helicopter safety ahead of any move to bring back Super Pumas.

Unite also asked MSPs to sign its petition calling on operators not to re-introduce Super Pumas.

Billy Donohoe, union organiser at Unite, said more than 2,500 people had signed the “back home safe” petition so far.

Super Pumas were grounded after one of the aircraft crashed in Norway in April 2016, killing all 13 people on board, including Iain Stuart from Laurencekirk.

But UK and Norwegian aviation authorities lifted their bans in July, even though the investigation into the crash is yet to identify a root cause.

The watchdogs said Super Pumas could return to service if they met certain safety requirements.

A number of oil and gas companies, including Statoil, have said they do not intend to use Super Puma copters again.

Shell and BP said they would not consider returning the aircraft to service until the root cause of the Norway crash is found.

Airbus declined to comment.

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