Aircraft Accident Rate Is Lowest
February 24, 2011
- The International Air Transport Association (IATA)
announced the aviation safety performance for 2010
showing that the year’s accident rate for Western-built
jet aircraft as the lowest in aviation history.
The 2010 global accident rate (measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jet aircraft) was 0.61. That is equal to one accident for every 1.6 million flights. This is a significant improvement of the 0.71 rate recorded in 2009 (one accident for 1.4 million flights).
The 2010 rate was the lowest in aviation history, just below the 2006 rate of 0.65. Compared to 10 years ago, the accident rate has been cut 42% from the rate recorded in 2001.
loss is an accident in which the aircraft is destroyed or
substantially damaged and is not subsequently repaired.
“Safety is the number one priority. Achieving the lowest
accident rate in the history of aviation shows that this
commitment is bearing results. Flying is safe. But every
fatality is a human tragedy that reminds us of the ultimate goal
of zero accidents and zero fatalities. We must remain focused
and determined to move closer to this goal year by year,” said
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
absolute numbers, 2010 saw 2.4 billion people flew safely on
36.8 million flights (28.4 million jet, 8.4 million turboprop).
17 hull loss accidents involving western-built jet aircraft
compared to 19 in 2009. 94 accidents (all aircraft types,
Eastern and Western built) compared to 90 in 2009. 23 fatal
accidents (all aircraft types) compared to 18 in 2009 and 786
fatalities compared to 685 in 2009 .
IATA member airlines outperformed the industry average with a Western-built jet hull loss rate of 0.25. That rate is equal to one accident for every 4 million flights. The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) became a condition of IATA membership from 1 April 2009. All 234 IATA member airlines are now on the IOSA registry. The IOSA registry is open to all airlines and it currently consists of over 350 airlines.
numbers tell the story. In the first full year after the IOSA
became a condition of IATA membership, the accident rate for
IATA carriers has never been so low. The data confirms that IOSA
is helping to drive safety improvements around the world. It is
an important part of a comprehensive safety strategy involving
governments and industry working together to further reduce the
number of accidents and fatalities,” said Bisignani.
significant regional differences in the Western built jet hull loss
* North America
(0.10), Europe (0.45),
* Asia-Pacific was higher than the global average at 0.80 in 2010 and about the same from the previous year (0.86)
* The Middle East
* Latin America &
In 2010, the
accident rate of IOSA carriers in
“Flying must be
equally safe in all parts of the world. An accident rate in
which are instances when an aircraft departs the runway during takeoff
or landing, were once again the most common cause of accidents,
accounting for 21% of all accidents in 2010 (vs. 26% in 2009).
The number of industry runway excursions accidents dropped by 13%
(20 vs. 23 in 2009) and IATA members have reduced their runway excursion
accidents by 43% since 2008 (4 vs. 7 in 2008).
shows about 35% of runway excursions on landing occurred on wet runways.
Another leading cause of runway excursions on landing is an
“unstable approach,” where the aircraft is approaching too fast, too
high, or touches down beyond the desired runway touchdown point. IATA is
working with industry and regulators to address this safety challenge.
In 2009, IATA
released the Runway Excursion Risk Reduction (RERR) toolkit which
provides high-level reference material as well as an in-depth analysis
of runway excursion accident data and a compilation of significant risk
factors. The toolkit also provides recommendations for operators,
pilots, airports, air traffic management, and regulators. A major update
to the RERR toolkit is planned for the spring of 2011 and will bring
together all major international safety organizations in a collaborative
effort to eliminate these types of accidents.
Ground damage accounted for 11% of all accidents in 2010, improved from 17% in 2008 when IATA launched the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) to address this challenge. ISAGO is the industry’s first global standard for the oversight and auditing of ground handling companies.
containing over 400 standards, was launched in February 2008 and the
first audits took place in May of the same year. To date, a total of 288
audits have been conducted and 56 providers operating at 81 different
locations are already on the ISAGO registry. The program has gained
broad support from several aviation authorities and airports and has
been mandated in
improvements to the industry’s safety performance will be guided by data
that can assist airlines in identifying trends and initiate preventive
measures. IATA established the Global Safety Information Center (GSIC)
in 2010. This interactive
website is a one-stop resource combining safety data from sources such
as IOSA and ISAGO audits, flight data analysis, pilot reports and
accident investigations without compromising commercial privacy.
“Safety is a constant challenge. Industry and governments need to accelerate their efforts on data sharing. In 2010, IATA launched GSIC providing its members with unprecedented access to safety information. More than 430 different organizations are already submitting safety data into the GSIC, and over 50% of IATA member carriers are participating. Substantial GSIC expansion is planned over the next few years and the industry will reap the benefits,” said Bisignani.
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