Transport minister Stephen Hammond has refused to commit to a full public inquiry into helicopter safety within the offshore oil and gas industry.
He said the impact of the recommendations put forward by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) review in February needed to be considered first.
Speaking in the Commons during transport questions, he said: “The UK has a good helicopter safety record and there is no evidence to suggest that travelling to oil and gas installations by helicopter is any less safe than travelling by any other helicopter operating in the UK.
“I’m pleased the CAA review has identified and proposed a number of recommendations to further look at the overall safety of passengers in the offshore oil and gas helicopter transportation system.
“I note the oil and gas industry has accepted those recommendations and is working with the CAA to implement those changes.
“The department is closely monitoring the effectiveness of the CAA and the industry to implement the safety improvement measures.”
He was replying to a question from Labour’s Frank Doran (Aberdeen North) who asked him to look at the Transport Committee’s report published on Tuesday and focus in particular on the section dealing with the survivors of the last fatal crash in August.
“So you can fully understand what the workforce in the North Sea have to put up with on a daily basis and why those workers and their families support the demand for a full public inquiry into helicopter safety,” he added.
The report called for a “full, independent public inquiry” into offshore helicopter safety amid fears that “a creeping complacency is affecting safety standards”.
In addition, it revealed offshore workers who raise concerns about helicopter safety have been told they should leave the oil and gas industry and noted the CAA’s review did not look at the impact of commercial pressure on helicopter safety.
Mr Hammond said the Government was “carefully considering ” its response to the report but insisted: “I would say at this stage, in terms of a full public inquiry, the CAA has conducted a thorough review, it has made important recommendations.
“We need to give … organisations time to take those forward … and we are making sure those address the concerns of the industry.”
Last August, four passengers were killed when a Super Puma helicopter crashed into the sea while on approach to Sumburgh airport in Shetland.
It was the fifth such accident involving the transfer of oil and gas industry personnel in the North Sea since 2009.