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Helicopter black box call

Published: 25 Oct 2015 00:01
Part of:
Law and order

Ministers urge UK Government to act in wake of Clutha report

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, has urged the UK Government to ensure the recommendations of the report into the Clutha bar helicopter crash are implemented swiftly.

In a joint letter with Infrastructure Secretary, Keith Brown, to UK Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, Scottish Ministers stressed the importance of requiring police and emergency helicopters to have black box flight recorders fitted.

Mr Matheson said:

"While the report sets out the factual circumstances of the accident, it is disappointing that – after two years of investigation – the report does not reach a clearer conclusion and raises more questions than it answers. Scottish Ministers share the profound disappointment of the families that it does not provide the closure they sought.

"The report makes a number of recommendations including requiring all police and emergency medical helicopters currently in use to be fitted with equipment to record data, audio and images with flight recorders fitted in aircraft certified after 1 January 2018. These 'black boxes' can be vital in establishing all the circumstances and actions leading to a crash.

"I appreciate that these are recommendations made to the European Aviation Safety Agency as the legislative authority and the Civil Aviation Authority as the UK Regulator. However, on behalf of the families who lost loved ones in the crash, I would seek reassurance that the UK Government will now do all that is within its power to ensure that these recommendations are taken forward as quickly as possible.

"Any steps that could help prevent another tragedy like this one must be taken."

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown said:

"The Scottish Government stands ready to work constructively with the UK Government in responding to the recommendations set out in the AAIB report. We are also investigating whether or not there are actions that we could take ourselves to help this process. We are now keen to hold an early meeting with UK counterparts to discuss in detail the implications of the report and timetable for acting on the recommendations."