Global airline industry 2014 accident rate lowest ever

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 9): The global airline industry saw 641 fatalities last year compared to 210 deaths in 2013 from a total of 3.3 billion journeys, according to the International Air Transport Assoiation (IATA).

In a statement today, the IATA said the 2014 global jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.23, which was the lowest rate in history and equivalent to one accident for every 4.4 million flights.

It said there were 12 fatal accidents involving all aircraft types in 2014 with 641 fatalities, compared with an average of 19 fatal accidents and 517 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period (2009-2013).

IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said any accident was one too many and safety was always aviation’s top priority.

“While aviation safety was in the headlines in 2014, the data show that flying continues to improve its safety performance,” he said.

The IATA said 2014 would be remembered for two extraordinary and tragic events — MH 370 and MH 17.

It said although the reasons for the disappearance and loss of MH 370 were unknown, it was classified as a fatal accident — one of 12 in 2014.

It said the aviation industry had welcome the proposal by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to move towards the adoption of a performance-based standard for global tracking of commercial aircraft, supported by multi-national operational assessments to evaluate impact and guide implementation.

Meanwhile, Tyler said the shooting down of MH 17 took with it 298 lives in an act of aggression that was, by any measure, unacceptable.

He said governments and industry had come together to find ways to reduce the risk of flying over conflict zones.

He explained this included better sharing of critical information about security risks to civil aviation.

“And we are calling on governments to find an international mechanism to regulate the design, manufacture and deployment of weapons with anti-aircraft capabilities.
 
“To the flying public, an air tragedy is an air tragedy, regardless of how it is classified. In 2014, we saw a reduction in the number of fatal accidents and that would be true even if we were to include MH 17 in the total.

The greatest tribute that we can pay to those who lost their lives in aviation-related tragedies is to continue our dedication to make flying ever safer. And that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.