ALL new Police Scotland helicopters are to be fitted with black box flight recorders regardless of whether the technology is mandated by aviation authorities.

Deputy chief constable of Police Scotland Neil Richardson issued the assurance as members of the Scottish Police Authority prepare to award a new contract for its helicopter operations.

It also comes days after the final report into the Clutha helicopter disaster recommended that all police helicopters and air ambulances should be fitted with cockpit audio and video technology capable of recording at least the final two hours of a flight.

Andrew Flanagan, the new chair of the SPA, said: "A number of members have raised with me that [last week's] report is somewhat inconclusive because of the lack of a flight recorder and I think we were just seeking reassurance that any future helicopter provision would have such a flight box equipment in it regardless of whether it was mandated by the Civil Aviation Authority.

"I think given what's happened I think we would want to have a higher standard than the CAA might want."

Mr Richardson said he was "happy to provide that assurance".

It will be up to the Department of Transport and the CAA to enforce the recommendation under UK law.

Investigators at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) were unable to explain why Captain David Traill repeatedly silenced low-fuel warnings and continued to fly for around 20 minutes until both engines of the Police Scotland helicopter were starved of fuel and cut out on November 29, 2013.

The aircraft plunged through the roof of the Clutha bar in Glasgow, killing seven people inside the venue along with Captain Traill and police constables Kirsty Nelis and Tony Collins, who were on board the helicopter.

Investigators were also unable to explain why cockpit switches which control the flow of fuel from the tanks to the engines were turned off mid-flight.

The SPA will name its preferred bidder for the air support helicopter service contract today. The existing arrangement with Bond is due to expire in September next year and the new contract term, which will range from five to seven years, will begin on October 1 2016.

The tendering document issued in May this year laid out various requirements and specifications for the bidders, but at the time this did not include a demand to use helicopters equipped with black box recorders.

Mr Richardson said: "The simple assurance is that the arrangements we are seeking to bring forward would provide that [black box] capability moving forward.

"And again, there will be further work done - there is a [police] investigation ongoing, there will be a Fatal Accident Inquiry.

"Following the AAIB report, there's undoubtedly going to be a process that will need to evaluate, consider and bring forward recommendations into action. That might very well generate a need for subsequent action and we will be very alive to that.

"Obviously if it requires amendment or adjustment to any of the standing arrangements that are in place, then we would be seeking to take those forward in early course."

The successful bidder for the air support contract will provide a primary and back-up helicopter, pilots, maintenance engineers and an operations base 24/7 on behalf of Police Scotland.

The aircrafts used must be a Eurocopter EC135 or equivalent - the same model which crashed into the Clutha bar - and be no more than five years old at the beginning of the contract term.

It comes as manufacturer, Airbus Helicopters, confirmed it was correcting an error in the EC135 maintenance manual.

The AAIB report found there were 32 seconds between the first and second engines "flaming out".

The aircraft manual states the time should be "three to four minutes".