Norwegian Unions Call for Super Puma Ban to be Maintained
Several Norwegian offshore unions are calling for a ban on Super Puma EC225LP and AS332L2 helicopters to be maintained, following a fatal crash in April which killed 13 people.
These calls come after the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) announced in October that it would be lifting a ban on Super Puma helicopters.
The unions, which include SAFE and Industri Energi, have stated that many of their members fear the prospect of having to fly in these particular types of helicopter and claimed that confidence in these Super Puma vehicles has vanished in the offshore industry.
Before lifting the ban on the helicopters, the Norwegian unions are arguing that the EASA must await further conclusions from the Accident Investigation Board investigation into the fatal crash in April.
“This is not only an important decision in relation to the physical helicopter safety, it is also a signal that the perceived safety of the passengers are taken seriously,” a translated joint union statement said.
Earlier this month Statoil said it will stop using the H225 (the new name for EC225) Super Puma helicopter as part of its fleet.
“We have no plans for using the H225 model in our fleet service in the future,” Statoil representative Morten Eek told Rigzone.
Following Statoil’s announcement, Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury said he took note of the company’s safety concerns.
“Airbus Helicopters takes note of Statoil's safety concerns regarding helicopter offshore operations. I regret the timing of Statoil's comments during a difficult time for the offshore community as a whole, at a time when we are working with the Norwegian Authorities and investigation team to address the specific concerns regarding the return to service of the H225 and AS332L2 in the region,” Faury said.
“We also continue to work with customers worldwide to ensure the safe operation of the more than 120 helicopters of the H225 and AS332 L2 family flying today,” he added.
The model was grounded since June and still remains so by UK and Norwegian authorities.
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