Oil workers who are too fat to fit through emergency windows will not be allowed to fly on North Sea helicopters under a raft of new safety measures unveiled yesterday.
The Civil Aviation Authority launched a “comprehensive” review in the aftermath of the most recent fatal Super Puma crash off Shetland in August, which claimed the lives of four people.
The CAA recommendations include a regulatory ban on flying in the most severe weather, although operators said they routinely cancel journeys in such conditions. Seating will be reconfigured, so passengers will only fly if they are next to an emergency window exit.
It is hoped underwater survival time in ditching incidents will be increased by improving emergency breathing equipment. But larger workers who cannot fit through the “push-out” windows while wearing survival suits will be banned from boarding aircraft from April 1 next year. Last night, politicians and unions claimed the CAA measures, while welcome, did not go far enough and urged a full public inquiry.