Published on Thursday, January 2, 2020

2019 one of safest years for aviation

Last year was one of the safest ever for commercial aviation, despite the high profile crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX in March.

According to the latest stats from The Aviation Safety Network, released yesterday, there were 20 fatal airliner accidents in 2019, resulting in 283 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.

However, based on a five-year average of 14 accidents and 480 fatalities, last year showed a markedly higher number of accidents.

According to The Aviation Safety Network,13 accidents involved passenger flights, six were cargo flights.

One out of 20 accident airplanes were operated by airlines on the EU 'blacklist', compared to three in 2018.

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 US regulators, this still is an area of concern," said the airline safety body.

But CEO Harro Ranter said overall, progress has been made.

"If the accident rate had remained the same as ten years ago, there would have been 34 fatal accidents last year," he said.

"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."

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