MONTREAL & BRUSSELS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA), welcome the recent publication by the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of a preliminary report and interim statement regarding the accident of Flight "Rescue 116", a Sikorsky S-92A helicopter that was taking part in a Search and Rescue (SAR) mission near Black Rock, Co. Mayo on 14 March 2017.
This publication is fully in line with ICAO Annex 13 Standards, which call for the State conducting the investigation to make an interim statement publicly available on each anniversary of the occurrence, detailing the progress of the investigation and any safety issues raised.
IFALPA and ECA support the safety recommendations published by the AAIU so far, and encourages all regulators, operators, government agencies and equipment manufacturers to implement these recommendations without delay.
To further improve the safety of SAR operations, and indeed all Irish aviation, IFALPA and ECA urge the Irish Minister for Transport to conduct an independent review into the oversight of such operations. Effective safety oversight is crucial to identify safety risk and prevent such tragedies from happening again.
IFALPA and ECA also recommend that the scope of this review be applied to the wider aviation sector in Ireland. Furthermore, any review should give consideration to the relationship, within all responsible State Bodies, between commercial aspects and safety regulation.