The union for most oil workers off Newfoundland is raising concerns about a push to resume scheduled night flights to remote offshore sites.
Brian Murphy, head of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union for Terra Nova and Hibernia workers, says night flights were restricted in 2010 for good reason.
An inquiry into a deadly helicopter crash off Newfoundland in 2009 heard that the survival rate for a ditching at night falls to about 40 per cent.
That’s 30-per-cent lower than in daylight hours, but oil companies say night flights are sometimes required in the darkest months to avoid backlogs.
Murphy says workers were told offshore regulators are expected to decide by the end of the year whether to resume night flights.
He says the union is pleased with recent search and rescue improvements, but flying after dark is too risky.
Operators of the three major offshore sites could not immediately be reached for comment.