ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A Newfoundland MP has applied for standing at an upcoming inquiry into offshore helicopter safety being set up by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

New Democrat Jack Harris is a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence.

The inquiry follows the Mar. 12 crash of a Cougar helicopter off St. John's that claimed 17 lives.

Harris says search and rescue is an important aspect of safety in the province's offshore and he hopes the inquiry will be able to address those concerns.

Issues of standing will be considered by the commission at a hearing on Aug. 11.