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ASN: 2019 One of the Safest Years Ever for Commercial Aviation

plane aircraft

Τhe year 2019 was one of the safest ever for commercial aviation, despite the high-profile Boeing 737 MAX accident, according to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN).

Yet, while the number of fatalities decreased last year, the number of accidents increased to a level above the five-year average.

Over the year 2019, the Aviation Safety Network recorded a total of 20 fatal airliner accidents resulting in 283 (occupant) fatalities. This makes 2019 the seventh safest year ever by the number of fatal accidents and the third safest in terms of fatalities.

The safest year in aviation history was 2017 with 10 accidents and 44 lives lost.

Looking at that five-year average of 14 accidents and 480 fatalities, last year showed a markedly higher number of accidents. Thirteen accidents involved passenger flights, while six were cargo flights. One out of 20 accident airplanes were operated by airlines on the EU “blacklist”, down by two compared to 2018.

Surprisingly, more than half of the accidents (11) occurred in North America (compared to just one in 2018 and three in 2017). Five accidents occurred in remote or rugged parts of Canada and Alaska. Despite progress made through various safety initiatives by Canadian and U.S. regulators, this still is an area of concern.

Given the estimated worldwide air traffic of about 39,000,000 flights, the accident rate is one fatal accident per almost two million flights.

“If the accident rate had remained the same as ten years ago, there would have been 34 fatal accidents last year. At the accident rate of the year 2000, there would even have been 65 fatal accidents. This shows the enormous progress in terms of safety in the past two decades,” Aviation Safety Network CEO Harro Ranter said.

The Aviation Safety Network is an independent organisation located in the Netherlands. Founded in 1996, it aims to provide everyone with a (professional) interest in aviation with up-to-date, complete and reliable authoritative information on airliner accidents and safety issues. ASN is an exclusive service of the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF).

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