Offshore Helicopter Safety Update

Circular No: NP/250/16


HO ref: S2/4 S2/6

17th October 2016

Dear Colleagues

Update on offshore helicopter safety

Further to circular no.136/16 of 5th May 2016, I write to update members on the current status of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) ban on using Super Puma EC225LP and AS332L2 helicopters to transport offshore oil and gas workers to and from installations.
At the start of the month, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) stated that it intends to lift the ban on Airbus Super Puma models.
During the meeting of the Offshore Helicopter Safety Advisory Group on 4th October the CAA informed the union of EASA’s impending announcement and reassured the RMT and other OCG unions that they would not be lifting the ban in place for Super Pumas in the UKCS. The CAA confirmed this in an official statement on 7th October. A hard copy of the statement is attached and it is online here:

Our colleagues in the Norwegian union IE, along with officials in the Norwegian CAA have also confirmed that the ban on Super Puma models in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea also remains in place. All parties, particularly the families and loved ones of the thirteen crew and passengers who lost their lives, continue to await the official findings of the Norwegian authorities’ investigation of the fatal incident involving a Super Puma EC225LP on the Norwegian coastline on 29th April this year.

As part of the Step Change in Safety committee for the UKCS which the union sits on, RMT offshore members were asked in August to list their safety priorities for the industry for 2017. The findings reveal that helicopter safety remains the number one concern for RMT offshore workers, followed by asset integrity and workforce engagement. The survey findings will be used to inform further interventions from the union, the OCG and the Step Change in Safety Committee later this year.

I would appreciate it if you could bring this circular to the attention of all Branch members and you will be kept updated with further developments.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary