A UNION will step up its calls for a public inquiry into offshore helicopter safety, after a watchdog highlighted “deeply disturbing” concerns about fatigue among engineers working on the fleet.

The Air Accidents Investigation Board (AAIB) found tiredness among ground staff may have contributed to a “near miss” with an Airbus 175 helicopter at Aberdeen Airport in July last year.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is calling on the Scottish Government to launch a public inquiry into safety standards for those working in the North Sea.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “The findings of fatigue and a lack of care for engineers working on the offshore helicopter fleet is deeply disturbing for offshore workers and their families.”

The AAIB found the Aberdeen Airport helicopter’s landing gear collapsed at touchdown due to a engineering failure.

An investigation found that part of the helicopter’s frame replacement had not been connected properly during repairs.

The review also found the engineer involved had not completed the task before and had only taken two rest days in the previous 31 days.