THE TRANSPORT union RMT representing oil workers have backed the return of Super Puma helicopters in the North Sea one week after the fatal crash off Shetland that killed four people.
The three operators of Super Puma choppers Bond, Bristow and CHC, whose L2 chopper ditched off Dunrossness last Friday, all plan to start flying them again soon.
The decision on Thursday by the Helicopter Safety Steering Group has been backed by the RMT union.
However oil workers remain nervous of flying on aircraft that have crashed five times in the past five years, two of which have been fatal.
The industry are now running a campaign to reassure oil workers they are safe to fly in Super Pumas.
With 16,000 people working offshore around the UK at any one time, there are 250 who have been stranded for three weeks as a result of the suspension of flights.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow told the BBC that they had supported the decision.
“We’ve looked at all the evidence. You’ve got to weigh up, at the end of the day, the pressures on individuals who are stranded on rigs and want to get back, or who’ve been away from work for two to three weeks.
“Also, at the end of the day, we’ve got to look at the evidence that was put in front of us and at this moment in time there’s no reason why the crash was mechanical.”
Investigators from the Air Accident Investigation Branch are to examine the black box flight recorder, which was found on the seabed on Thursday and is being transported to their Franborough headquarters.
Aberdeen MP Frank Doran has called for a public inquiry into the use of the aircraft.
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