Wed, Jan 03, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Last year safest ever for commercial air travel

Reuters, WASHINGTON

Airlines recorded zero accidental deaths in commercial passenger jets last year, a Dutch consulting firm and an aviation safety group that tracks crashes said, making last year the safest on record for commercial air travel.

Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network on Monday reported there were no commercial passenger jet fatalities last year.

To70 estimated that the fatal accident rate for large commercial passenger flights is 0.06 per million flights, or one fatal accident for every 16 million flights.

The Aviation Safety Network also reported there were no commercial passenger jet deaths last year, but 10 fatal airliner accidents resulting in 44 fatalities onboard and 35 persons on the ground, including cargo planes and commercial passenger turbo prop aircraft.

That figure includes 12 people killed on Sunday when a Nature Air Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft crashed minutes after takeoff into a mountainous area in Costa Rica.

By comparison, there were 16 accidents and 303 deaths in 2016 among airliners.

The deadliest incident last year occurred in January when a Turkish cargo jet smashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan as it tried to land at a nearby airport in dense fog, killing 35 on the ground and all four onboard.

The Aviation Safety Network said last year was “the safest year ever, both by the number of fatal accidents as well as in terms of fatalities.”

Over the past two decades, aviation deaths around the world have been steadily declining. As recently as 2005, there were 1,015 deaths aboard commercial passenger flights worldwide, the Aviation Safety Network said.

The US last recorded a fatal passenger jet crash in February 2009, when Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed short of the runway in Clarence Center, New York, killing 49 onboard and one on the ground.

Last year, 412 people were killed in the US in aviation accidents — nearly all in general aviation accidents and none on commercial passenger airlines.

The last fatal passenger jet airliner accident worldwide took place in November 2016 near Medellin, Colombia, and the last commercial passenger aircraft crash to kill more than 100 people occurred in October 2015 in Egypt.

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