Jet crashes hit new low
By Staff Reporter
AFP American Edition
Mar 06, 2012 13:14 EST
The accident rate for Western-built jets was the lowest in aviation history last year, surpassing the previous mark set in 2010, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced Tuesday.
The total number of aircraft crash fatalities also fell to 486, from 786 in 2010, the UN agency said in a statement.
The industry’s global accident rate in 2011 in which an aircraft is destroyed or substantially damaged was 0.37, or the equivalent of one accident every 2.7 million flights, compared to 0.61 the previous year.
In total there were only 11 hull loss accidents involving Western-built jets compared to 17 in 2010. When Eastern-built jets are included, however, the figure jumps to 92 accidents.
“Flying is one of the safest things that a person could do,” the IATA’s director general Tony Tyler said in a statement.
“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 industry.”
According to IATA figures, 2.8 billion people flew safely on 38 million flights last year.
The safest regions to fly were in Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and North Asia while the accident rate for Africa improved but remained the worst performing region in the industry.
Latin America and the Caribbean also performed better than 2010 but their hull loses were still 3.5 times higher than the global average.
The Commonwealth of Independent States’s accident rate was higher than the global average and also higher than last year. The rate for the Middle East and North Africa region also worsened.
Runway excursions, in which an aircraft departs a runway during a landing or takeoff, were the most common type of accident in 2011.
Eighty-eight percent of runway excursions occurred during landing, in situations where the aircraft is too fast, above the glide slope, or touches down beyond the desired touchdown point, or when runways are contaminated.
The IATA represents some 240 airlines comprising 84 percent of total air traffic.
Source: AFP American Edition