HC Deb 08 May 1990 vol 172 cc6-7W
Mr. Day

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if his approval was required for the exemption given to the helicopter companies operating over the North sea from the new rules against excessive fatigue for pilots.

Mr. McLoughlin

The statutory responsibility for the safety regulation of United Kingdom civil aviation rests with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). I understand that of the 540 pilots employed on offshore helicopter operations on 1 May 1990, the date of the new requirements, 10 were in excess of the new limit of 800 hours flying time in any 12-month period. Of these, the highest had completed 835 hours and was inside the old limit of 900 hours maximum.

In order to avoid grounding these pilots for approximately three months, the authority has issued exemptions valid until the end of August 1990 when all 10 will be within the new reduced maximum 12-monthly flying hours limit.