The year 2017 turned out to be the safest year ever for commercial aviation, the Netherlands-based Aviation Safety Network (ASN) said in a report released recently.
According to 2017 airliner accident statistics, over last year a total of 10 fatal airliner accidents (passenger and cargo flights), which resulted in 79 deaths (44 occupant fatalities and 35 persons on the ground), were recorded.
The low number of accidents comes as no surprise, according to ASN President Harro Ranter.
“Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organisations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry,” Ranter said.
The network based its figures on incidents involving civil aircraft certified to carry at least 14 people.
Last year, five accidents involved cargo flights and five were passenger flights. Given the expected worldwide air traffic of about 36,800,000 flights, the accident rate is one fatal passenger flight accident per 7,360,000 flights.
The incident with the most on-board fatalities (12) in 2017 took place on this New Years Eve, when a Nature Air single-propeller Cessna 208 Caravan plane crashed in western Costa Rica.
The agency also noted that on December 31, 2017, aviation had a record period of 398 days with no passenger jet airliner accidents. Additionally, a record period of 792 days passed since the previous civil aircraft accident claiming over 100 lives. The last fatal passenger jet airliner accident was on November 28, 2016, when LaMia flight LMI2933, an Avro RJ.85, was destroyed after impacting a wooded hillside south of Rionegro/Medellín Airport, Colombia. The last civil aircraft accident claiming over 100 lives took place on October 31, 2015, when an Airbus A321, operated by Metrojet, was destroyed in an accident in central Sinai, Egypt.
In addition, another airline monitoring agency, Dutch consultancy To70, estimated that there was one fatal accident for every 16 million flights.