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2017 safest year in aviation history

In 2017 there were worldwide 10 fatal airliner accidents, 5 involving cargo flights and 5 passenger flights. This makes 2017 the safest year ever for commercial aviation, according to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN).

Both the number of airliner accidents and the number of fatalities were extremely low: 44 occupant fatalities and 35 persons on the ground. In 2016, ASN recorded 16 accidents and 303 lives lost.

Given the worldwide air traffic of about 36,800,000 flights, the accident rate in 2017 was 1 fatal passenger flight accident per 7,360,000 flights. This makes aviation the safest mode of passenger transport. Indeed, 1 out of 10 accident airplanes was operated by an airline on the EU blacklist.

The low number of accidents comes as no surprise, according to ASN President Harro Ranter: “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 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) and the aviation industry.”

On December 31, 2017, aviation had a record period of 398 days without any passenger jet airliner accidents. Additionally, a record period of 792 days passed since the previous major civil aircraft accident claiming more than 100 lives.

For the record, there are also aviation safety experts who consider it pure luck that there were so few accidents involving civil aircraft. The incident with an Air France Airbus 380 that lost part of an engine over Greenland, for example, could have had more serious consequences.

The statistics are based on all worldwide fatal commercial aircraft accidents (passenger and cargo flights) involving civil aircraft of which the basic model has been certified for carrying 14 or more passengers. When including military and non-commercial flights, the total number of fatalities would be 230 in 24 fatal accidents. Still the lowest numbers in modern history.

Related: “EU black list safeguards your rights

Tags: aviation safety, civil aircraft, EU black list

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