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Fri, Sep 10, 2010

Canadian Lawyer Says Offshore Air Traffic Should Have Separate Safety Agency

Call Comes In The Wake Of Cougar Flight 491 Accident

A lawyer representing the families of some of those fatally injured when a helicopter went down off the Canadian coast in 2009 says the government should establish a separate safety agency specifically to deal with that segment of air traffic.

A Sikorsky S-92 transporting workers to an offshore oil rig in the North Atlantic off the Newfoundland coast went down in March, 2009, killing 17 of the 18 people on board. Canadian Television reports that attorney Jamie Martin made the comments during an inquiry into offshore helicopter safety.

But the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says regulatory changes are not needed.

Sikorsky S-92 File Photo

The Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry was established on April 8, 2009, by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) as the Inquiry into Matters Respecting Helicopter Passenger Safety for Workers in the Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area. According to the inquiry website, the mandate of the Offshore Helicopter Inquiry does not include an investigation into the cause of the crash of the Cougar Helicopter Sikorsky S92-A, as the investigation is the responsibility of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. In addition, the Commission’s mandate does not include an examination of the provision by the Government of Canada (Department of National Defence) of Search and Rescue facilities for all marine incidents and the location of such facilities within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

A report from the inquiry into helicopter safety is expected by the end of October.



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