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Sunday, 6 April 2014





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Commercial aviation accidents: number of fatalities drops - IATA

There were 210 fatalities from commercial aviation accidents in 2013, compared to 414 in 2012. The 2013 global Western-built jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jets) was 0.41, the equivalent of one accident for every 2.4 million flights.

This was a step back from 2012 when the global Western-built jet accident rate stood at 0.21 - the lowest in aviation history, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) report on 2013 commercial aviation safety performance said.

It said that a five-year period (2009-2013), 2013 shows a 14.6% improvement on the five-year average of 0.48. The 2013 Western-built jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.30, which outperformed the global average by 26.8% and showed an improvement over the five-year average of 0.32.

"Safety is our highest priority. The aviation industry is united in its commitment to ensure continuous safety improvement. Importantly, that commitment has made flying ever safer. Accidents, however rare, do happen. We release this data as the world continues to focus on the search for MH370.

The airline industry, its stakeholders and regulators are in the beginning of a journey to unravel this mystery, understand the cause and find ways to ensure that it never happens again," said IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler.

IATA released its 50th annual Safety Report recently including complete data and analysis of the 2013 safety performance. Over the five years 2009-2013, the industry has shown improvement in accident rates and fatalities, although year-to-year comparisons may fluctuate.

According to the report over three billion people flew safely on 36.4 million flights (29.5 million by jet, 6.9 million by turboprop). There were 81 accidents (all aircraft types, Eastern and Western built), up from 75 in 2012, but below the five-year average of 86 per year, 16 fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 15 in 2012 and the five-year average of 19. Twenty percent of all accidents were fatal, unchanged from 2012 and below the five-year average of 22%.

Twelve hull loss accidents involving Western-built jets compared to six in 2012 and the five-year average of 13. Six fatal hull loss accidents involving Western-built jets, increased from three in 2012, unchanged from the five-year average, 210 fatalities compared to 414 in 2012 and the five-year average of 517 IOSA Airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit Registry (IOSA) experienced six Western-built jet hull loss accidents.

The total accident rate (all aircraft types) for IOSA-registered carriers was more than two times better than the rate for non-IOSA carriers (1.46 verses 3.60). Today, 391 (as of March 31, 2014) airlines are on the IOSA registry.

For IATA's 240 airlines, IOSA is needed for membership in the association. That some 151 non-member airlines are also on the registry is a clear indication that IOSA is the global benchmark for airline operational safety management.

"The overall performance of IOSA airlines shows that the audits are among the factors having a positive impact on safety. To increase the effectiveness of the IOSA process, we are upgrading to Enhanced IOSA which incorporates systems to monitor compliance across the two-year audit cycle. This is moving IOSA from a once-every-two-year snapshot to a continuous management process," said Tyler.

The regions which outperformed the global Western-built jet hull loss rate of 0.41 were: Europe (0.15), North America (0.32), and North Asia (0.00). The regions which saw their safety performance improve in 2013 compared to 2012: Africa (from 4.55 to 2.03); Latin America and the Caribbean (from 0.45 to 0.44). North Asia (0.00) and Europe (0.15) were unchanged.

The regions where safety performance declined in 2013 compared to 2012 were:

Asia-Pacific (from 0.50 to 0.70), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (from 0.00 to 2.09), Middle East-North Africa (from 0.00 to 0.68), North America (from 0.00 to 0.32).

The regions where safety performance improved in 2013 relative to the region's five-year average were: Africa (2.03 versus 6.44), Europe (0.15 versus 0.25), Latin America and the Caribbean (0.44 versus 0.86), Middle East-North Africa (0.68 versus 1.51) and North Asia (0.00 versus 0.07).

Latin America and the Caribbean posted a third consecutive year of improvement but the region's rate was slightly higher than the world average. CIS had the worst performance (2.09) after having had no Western-built jet hull losses in 2012.

Africa has recorded significant progress in safety. African airlines experienced only one Western-built jet hull loss last year. The Western-built jet hull loss rate improved 55.4% between 2012 and 2013, while the region's accident rate for all aircraft types improved nearly 50% (7.45 accidents per million flights from 14.80 in 2012).

"We are seeing progress in Africa," Tyler said.


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