IATA: World airline accident rate drops to record low in 2014

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

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Despite two Malaysia Airlines tragedies, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 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 the equivalent of one accident for every 4.4 million flights.

This was an improvement over 2013 when the global hull loss rate stood at 0.41 (an average of one accident every 2.4 million flights) and also an improvement over the five-year rate (2009-2013) of 0.58 hull loss accidents per million flights jet.

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 five-year period (2009-2013).

The 2014 jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.12 (one accident for every 8.3 million flights), which outperformed the global average by 48% and which showed significant improvement over the five-year rate of 0.33.

“Any accident is one too many and safety is 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,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Although the reasons for the disappearance and loss of MH 370 are unknown, it is classified as a fatal accident—one of 12 in 2014.

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The destruction of MH 17 by anti-aircraft weaponry, however, is not included as an accident under globally-recognized accident classification criteria. The four aircraft involved in the events of 9.11 were treated in the same way.

“The shooting down of MH 17 took with it 298 lives in an act of aggression that is by any measure unacceptable. Governments and industry have come together to find ways to reduce the risk of over-flying conflict zones. This includes 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,” said Tyler.

“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,” said Tyler.

2014 Safety by the numbers:

More than 3.3 billion people flew safely on 38.0 million flights (30.6 million by jet, 7.4 million by turboprop)

73 accidents (all aircraft types), down from 81 in 2013 and the five-year average of 86 per year

12 fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 16 in 2013 and the five-year average of 19

16% of all accidents were fatal, below the five-year average of 22%

7 hull loss accidents involving jets compared to 12 in 2013 and the five-year average of 16

Three fatal hull loss accidents involving jets, down from six in 2013, and the five-year average of eight

17 hull loss accidents involving turboprops of which nine were fatal

641 fatalities compared to 210 fatalities in 2013 and the five-year average of 517

Jet hull loss rates by region of operator

All regions but one showed improvement in 2014 when compared to 2013. The exception is Europe which maintained the rate of 0.15 jet hull losses per 1 million sectors.

All regions saw their safety performance improve in 2014 compared to the respective five-year rate 2009-2013 as follows:

Africa (from 6.83 to 0.00) ;

Asia-Pacific (from 0.63 to 0.44);

CIS (from 2.74 to 0.83);

Europe (from 0.24 to 0.15);

Latin America and the Caribbean (from 0.87 to 0.41);

Middle East-North Africa (1.82 to 0.63);

North America (from 0.20 to 0.11)

North Asia (from 0.06 to 0.00).

CIS had the worst performance (0.83) among regions, but it showed strong improvement over three consecutive years: 6.34 (2011), 1.91 (2012), 1.79 (2013).

Turboprop hull loss rates by region of operator

The world turboprop hull loss rate improved to 2.30 hull losses per million flights in 2014 compared to 2.78 in the five years 2009-2013.

The following regions saw their turboprop safety performance improve in 2014 when compared to the respective five-year rate: Asia-Pacific (from 2.16 to 0.00); CIS (from 12.12 to 11.95); Europe (from 1.46 to 0.71); Latin America and the Caribbean (from 4.53 to 1.21); Middle East-North Africa (from 7.91 to 7.17).

Africa had the worst performance (14.13 hull losses per million flights) in 2014 for turboprop hull losses, which exceeded the region’s five-year rate of 9.62. There are relatively few turboprop operations in North Asia so the single turboprop hull loss experienced in the region in 2014 caused the turboprop hull loss rate to rise to 11.28 compared to the five-year rate of. 2.41. North America also saw a deterioration in 2014 compared to the preceding five years (1.19 vs. 1.02).



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