2011 Accident Rate
For Western Built Jets Lowest In Aviation History
By Eddy Metcalf
March 7, 2012 - The International Air Transport
Association (IATA) announced that the 2011 accident rate
for Western-built jets was the lowest in aviation
history, surpassing the previous mark set in 2010.
The 2011 global accident rate (measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jets) was 0.37, the equivalent of one accident every 2.7 million flights.
This represented a 39% improvement compared to 2010, when the accident rate was 0.61, or one accident for every 1.6 million flights. A hull loss is an accident in which the aircraft is destroyed or substantially damaged and not subsequently repaired for whatever reason including a financial decision by the owner.
Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler said ?Safety is the air
transport industry?s number one priority. It is also a team
effort. The entire stakeholder community airlines, airports, air
navigation service providers and safety regulators works
together every day to make the skies safer based on global
result, flying is one of the safest things that a person could
do. But, every accident is one too many, and each fatality is a
human tragedy. The ultimate goal of zero accidents keeps
everyone involved in aviation focused on building an ever safer
Safety by the numbers 2.8 billion people flew safely on 38 million flights (30 million by jet, 8 million by turboprop), 11 hull loss accidents involving Western-built jets compared to 17 in 2010, 92 total accidents (all aircraft types, Eastern and Western built) down from 94 in 2010, 5 fatal hull loss accidents involving Western-built jets down from 8 in 2010, 22 fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 23 in 2010, 486 fatalities compared to 786 in 2010 and fatality rate dropped to 0.07 per million passengers from 0.21 in 2010 based on Western-built jet operations.
member airlines outperformed the industry average for accidents
of all aircraft types by 23% (1.84 accidents per million flights
compared to 2.40). The IATA Western-built jet hull loss rate, at
0.41 accidents per million flights, was slightly higher than the
average for the industry.
?The accident rate for airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry was 52% better than for non-IOSA operators. These numbers show that IOSA is helping to drive safety improvements for the entire industry, not just IATA member airlines. Of the 369 airlines on the IOSA registry, 130, or 35% of the total, are non-IATA member airlines,? said Tyler.
He noted that
IOSA registered airlines flew 64% of all commercial flights in
2011, and that IOSA now includes 68 Safety Management System (SMS)
standards that provide a baseline SMS assessment.
Review?Western-built Jet Hull Loss Rates
Asia-Pacific (0.25), Europe (0.0), North America (0.10) and North Asia (0.0) performed better than the global average of 0.37.
Asia-Pacific, Europe and North Asia recorded improvements compared to their performance in 2010, while North America stayed the same.
The Commonwealth of Independent States (1.06) was higher than the global average and also higher than last year (0.0).
Latin America and the Caribbean performed better than 2010 (1.28 in 2011 vs.1.87 in 2010), but was still almost 3.5 times worse than the global average.
The rate for the Middle East and North Africa region worsened to 2.02 from 0.72 in 2010.
The rate for
Africa improved by 56% to 3.27 from 7.41 in 2010 but still was the worst
performing region in the industry. IOSA carriers in Africa had a zero
hull loss rate in 2011.
The total number
of accidents for African airlines dropped from 18 in 2010 to 8 in 2011.
The total accident rate for African airlines that are on the IOSA
registry was almost equivalent to the world average, while the accident
rate for airlines that are not on the IOSA registry was more than five
times as high. The same trend occurred in the CIS, where the accident
rate for IOSA-registered airlines was more than five times better than
the rate for non-IOSA registered airlines.
?The problems of
Africa are complex and include both insufficient government oversight
and a lack of infrastructure investment. It is quite clear from the
industry?s performance that global standards like IOSA are an effective
means to improve safety. We are eager to work with governments to make
IOSA a part of their safety oversight programs,? said Tyler.
Runway excursions, in which an aircraft departs a runway during a landing or takeoff, were the most common type of accident in 2011 (18% of total accidents). This is slightly reduced from 2010 when runway excursions accounted for 21% of total accidents reflecting industry efforts to reduce their frequency.
growth, the absolute number of runway excursions decreased from 23 in
2009 to 20 in 2010 and 17 in 2011. Eighty eight percent of runway
excursions occurred during landing. Unstable approaches--situations
where the aircraft is too fast, above the glide slope, or touches down
beyond the desired touchdown point--and contaminated runways are among
the most common contributing factors to runway excursions on landing.
Safety Information Center (GSIC) provides trend analysis that is helping
the industry improve performance.
For example, a new Flight Data eXchange (FDX) system within the
GSIC tracks unstable approach performance for the more than 700 airports
in the database. Sharing such safety data complements the work of the
Runway Excursion Risk Reduction (RERR) Toolkit, the second edition of
which was launched in May 2011, and fuels global efforts to find
Ground damage was another concern, accounting for 16% of accidents in 2011. This was up from 11% in 2010. These accidents include events such as damage resulting from ground handling operations and collisions during taxi. IATA has launched a number of initiatives to address ground accidents. In 2008, IATA launched the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO).
This is the first
global standard for the oversight and auditing of ground handling
companies. Subsequently, IATA has launched the IATA Ground Operations
Manual (IGOM) and the Aircraft Ground Damage Database (GDDB) to collect
and analyze reports of ground damage from participating operators and
ground service providers.
Data sharing is helping to identify and reduce risks. In 2010 the International Civil Aviation Organization, the US Department of Transportation and the European Commission agreed with IATA to create the Global Safety Information Exchange (GSIE). This was enriched in 2011 with the addition of databases covering ground damage and flight data.
?The wider that we
cast our net to collect safety information, the more effective we can be
in allocating resources to mitigate identified risks. Further developing
GSIE is a model for international cooperation that continues aviation?s
great tradition in this area,? said Tyler.
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