Published on : Wednesday, January 10, 2018
The international air transport industry achieved its safest year on record in 2017, with a total of 10 major accidents involving western built aircraft resulting in 55 fatalities. This represents a loss rate approaching one major accident for every 4 million flights, further reinforcing the fact that flying remains the safest form of travel. This reduction in major accidents is the result of determined and relentless efforts from regulators and industry safety stakeholders working in close collaboration. Last year’s achievement moves the industry closer to the aspirational goal of zero major accidents and fatalities, which is already the case in some countries.
Looking more closely at the data, there were three major accidents involving large western-built commercial airline jets, which resulted in a total of 40 fatalities. Asia Pacific carriers experienced one major accident involving large western-built commercial airline jets, with zero crew and passenger fatalities.
Commercial turboprop operations also achieved significant safety performance improvements. In 2017 there were 7 major accidents involving commercial turboprop aircraft, which resulted in a total of 15 fatalities, including one major accident involving an Asian operator which resulted in 2 fatalities.
Mr. Andrew Herdman, Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) commented, “With the demand for air travel growing continuously, the world’s airlines are now responsible for safely transporting over 4 billion passengers each year. About one third of those passengers are being carried by airlines based in the Asia Pacific region, on some of the busiest routes in the world. Understandably with this responsibility, safety is always our first priority.”
Mr. Herdman continued, “Aviation safety has come a long way and we are now in an era where major accidents are extremely rare events. The level of safety achieved so far is a result of the collective efforts of regulators and industry stakeholders working together to identify evolving safety priorities and addressing common operational challenges.”
Commenting further Mr. Herdman stated, “For the region the growth in demand for air travel brings with it challenges requiring more attention. Governments need to focus on wider issues related to aviation infrastructure capacity constraints and congestion, the need for more effective regulatory oversight and investments that provide a future air transport system meeting prescribed international standards, not only for safety, but also for environment, security and other key performance standards.”
Concluding his remarks, Mr. Herdman emphasized that, “Flying is extraordinarily safe. AAPA remains fully committed to maintaining and further enhancing aviation safety performance through the joint efforts of the region’s operators in strongly supporting ICAO safety initiatives and continuing our close collaboration with regulators and other aviation stakeholders.”