World air fatalities drop 20pc
Geneva, May 10, 2008
The number of flight fatalities around the world fell nearly 20 per cent in 2007, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The incidents declined from 855 to 692, even as passenger numbers increased by 6pc to over 2.2 billion passengers in 2007, the IATA's 44th annual Safety Report reveals.
In absolute numbers, there were 100 accidents in 2007 (57 jet, 43 turboprop) compared with 77 accidents in 2006 (46 jet, 31 turboprop).
“Air travel is the safest mode of transportation. In the ten years from 1998, the accident rate was reduced by almost half—from 1.34 accidents per million flights to 0.75. And the number of fatalities dropped significantly in 2007. That’s good news. But our goal is always to do better: zero fatalities and zero accidents,” said IATA director-general and chief executive officer Giovanni Bisignani.
North America and Europe had hull-loss rates significantly better than the global average, and the Russia and CIS region had zero accidents in 2007.
However, accidents in Indonesia pushed the Asia Pacific region accident rate to 2.76 hull losses per million flights and the Latin American accident rate was also relatively high at 1.61 hull losses per million flights.
The worst safety record is for flights in Africa, where there were 4.09 hull losses per million flights.
Regional accident rates varied. Russia and the CIS had zero accidents in 2007, following a disastrous year in 2006.
At 0.09 and 0.29 accidents per million flights, North America and Europe had hull-loss rates significantly better than the global average.
A spate of accidents in Indonesia pushed the Asia Pacific accident rate to 2.76 hull losses per million flights.
Latin American accident rate was 1.61 hull losses per million flights. IATA is working with the Brazilian government on a comprehensive programme to improve safety—from IOSA to infrastructure improvements.
Africa had the worst record at 4.09 hull-losses per million flights.
“While this is an improvement over last year, it is still six times less safe to fly in Africa than the rest of the world. IATA is working side-by-side with our African members to bring them up to IOSA standards. And we just announced a $3.7 million programme to give up to 30 African carriers access to IATA’s Flight Data Analysis service for a three-year period,” said Bisignani.
Almost half (48pc) of the year’s accidents took place during landing. The majority of these accidents involved a runway excursion. Many of these accidents could have been prevented by the initiation of a timely go-around.
IATA, in co-operation with the Flight Safety Foundation, is developing a toolkit that will address the issues linked to runway safety enhancement, including the prevention of runway excursions.
Almost 20pc of all accidents in 2007 related to ground damage. Lack of standardisation can contribute to ground handling activities that result in damage to aircraft.
IATA developed the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) programme to drastically reduce aircraft damage and personal injuries in the ground environment.
“Ground damage is a $4 billion cost to the industry. The launch of the first global standards for ground safety with ISAGO will improve safety, cut costs and reduce redundant audits,” said Bisignani.
Almost half of the accidents in 2007 were linked to a technical issue; maintenance events contributed to almost 20pc of all occurrences last year.
IATA is revising its safety strategy to encompass maintenance activities and Safety Management System implementation for maintenance organizations, the association said. – TradeArabia News Service