Airline Fatal Accidents Rose In 2016

March 10, 2017

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The number of fatalities due to air accidents rose in 2016, but continue to show a long term decline, IATA said in its annual safety report.

The International Air Transport Association’s annual Airline Safety Performance review reported 65 accidents during 2016, down from the 68 seen the previous year. Of those, 10 included fatalities as opposed to four in 2015.

A total of 268 people lost their lives in those air accidents, up from 136 in 2015. This was still significantly lower than the five-year average of 371 per year.

“The number of total accidents, fatal accidents and fatalities all declined versus the five-year average,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said, but “We did take a step back on some key parameters from the exceptional performance of 2015.”

The major jet accident rate, measured in hull losses per 1 million flights, was 0.39 in 2016, or the equivalent of one major accident for every 2.56 million flights, IATA said in the report. That was a slight deterioration from 0.32 in 2015, and was above the five-year rate of 0.36.

The number of jet hull losses also increased to 13, from 10 in 2016, and the five-year average (2011-2015) of 10.6. Turboprop hull losses of 8, matched the previous year’s total, but greatly improved from the five-year average of 19.6.

Regionally, sub-Saharan Africa had its best performance of the last decade, with no passenger fatalities and no jet hull losses.

“Sub-Saharan airlines delivered a very strong performance in 2016,” de Juniac said. “The lesson in Africa’s improvement is that global standards like the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) make a difference.”

IOSA is a system used to assess the operational management and control systems of airlines. All IATA members are IOSA registered.

IATA represents 265 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air traffic.