The downturn in the oil and gas price has had a huge negative effect on North Sea industry and the pilot community is feeling the pinch.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association is calling on the oil industry and the UK and Scottish Governments to do all they can to help North Sea pilots through the turbulent times and ensure safety is not put at risk.
The region has seen several waves of redundancies in the last year and pilots have been seriously affected. In June 2016, CHC Helicopters and Bristow Helicopters both announced losses:
CHC Helicopters (52 redundancies including 22 pilot jobs in Aberdeen)
Bristow Helicopters (15 pilot redundancies)
The British Airline Pilots’ Association’s priority is to support the pilot community to save as many jobs as possible.
BALPA is working to ensure businesses all the way down the supply chain are not squeezed by the big oil and gas companies. It is lobbying the Government to ensure tax breaks in the Budget* trickle through to take pressure off the supply chain.
BALPA is encouraging the Government to look at ways it can help harness the vast experience of these helicopter pilots by aiding further training to enable them to move to fixed wing roles.
For pilots safety is always the priority and fears have been raised that economic pressure may translate in to increased safety risks. BALPA is working with pilots and employers to ensure this is not the case.
BALPA has also joined with other unions to create the Offshore Co-ordinating Group to further strengthen our voice, a move which was welcomed by MSPs.
*Tax cuts for the North Sea Industry. Petroleum revenue tax to be effectively abolished. Cutting the supplementary charge on oil and gas from 20% to 10%