Sat, 20 Oct 2018

Aviation report: 2017 was the safest year for air travel

By Sheetal Sukhija, Scotland News
03 Jan 2018, 03:16 GMT+10

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - According to aviation reports prepared by two global consultancies, 2017 was the safest year for air travel.

With the number of fatalities falling last year, separate reports by Dutch consultancy To70 and The Aviation Safety Network found that 2017 was the safest year in history for commercial airlines.

The reports noted that there were no passenger jets crashes anywhere in the world, despite more flights being made than ever before.

To70 warned in its report that despite high safety levels on passenger planes, the "extraordinarily" low accident rate must be seen as "good fortune.”

However, according to the report prepared by the Airline Safety Network, there were a total of ten fatal accidents that resulted in 79 deaths in 2017. 

In comparison, in 2016, 16 accidents and 303 lives were lost.

The Airline Safety Network pointed out that its figures were based on incidents involving civil aircraft certified to carry at least 14 people.

According to the report, the most serious accident of the year was recorded in January 2017, when a Turkish cargo plane crashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan killing all all four crew members and 35 others.

The incident with the most on-board fatalities meanwhile took place on New Years Eve, when a Nature Air single-propeller Cessna 208 Caravan plane crashed in western Costa Rica.

In the accident, 12 passengers and crew members were killed.

However, neither of the reports counted military or helicopter accidents.

This means that 2017’s worst air disaster did not figure in the data - which was the crash of a Burmese Y-8 military transporter plane, which crashed in the month of June, killing all 122 people on board.

Further, incidents involving smaller planes too did not figure in the data.

Over the last two decades, aviation deaths have been steadily falling. 

The Aviation Safety Network said that in 2005, there were more than 1,000 deaths on-board commercial passenger flights worldwide.

According to reports, the last fatal passenger jet airliner accident took place in November 2016 in Colombia.

Meanwhile, the last commercial passenger aircraft crash to kill over 100 people occurred in Egypt in 2015.

ASN said in its report that the accident rate was one fatal passenger flight accident per 7,360,000 flights.

ASN president Harro Ranter said, "Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organizations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry.”

Meanwhile, the report prepared by Dutch consultancy To70 was compiled before the Costa Rica crash and estimated that there was now one fatal accident for every 16 million flights.

Adrian Young from To70 said, “2017 was the safest year for aviation ever," but added civil aviation still carried "very large risks.”

Young pointed out that new technology including fears of lithium-ion batteries catching fire on-board, as well as "mental health issues and fatigue," were among the main risk factors for the industry.

He also highlighted that there were "several quite serious non-fatal accidents" including the "spectacular" engine failure of an Air France A380.

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