IATA has released its 2016 safety performance
report on the commercial airline industry. The data shows that:
- The all accident rate (measured in
accidents per 1 million flights) was 1.61, an improvement from
1.79 in 2015.
- The 2016 major jet accident rate (measured in
hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.39, which was the
equivalent of one major accident for every 2.56 million flights.
This was not as good as the rate of 0.32 achieved in 2015 and was
also above the five-year rate (2011-2015) of 0.36.
- There were 10 fatal accidents with 268
fatalities. This compares with an average of 13.4 fatal accidents
and 371 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period
- The 2016 jet hull loss rate for IATA member
airlines was 0.35 (one accident for every 2.86 million flights).
While this outperformed the global hull loss rate, it was a step
back from the 0.22 accidents per million flights achieved by IATA
members in 2015.
"Last year some 3.8 billion travelers flew
safely on 40.4 million flights," said Alexandre de Juniac
(pictured), IATA’s Director
General and CEO. "The number of total accidents,
fatal accidents and fatalities all declined versus the five-year
average, showing that aviation continues to become safer. We did
take a step back on some key parameters from the exceptional
performance of 2015; however, flying is still the safest form of
long distance travel. And safety remains the top priority of all
involved in aviation. The goal is for every flight to depart and
arrive without incident. And every accident redoubles our efforts
to achieve that."
The world turboprop hull loss rate
improved to 1.15 hull losses per million flights in 2016 compared
to 1.18 in 2015 and the five-year rate (2011-2015) of 2.84. All
regions except the CIS saw their turboprop safety performance
improve in 2016 when compared to their respective five-year rates.
Strong Progress in Africa
In 2016, Sub-Saharan
Africa had its best performance within the last decade, with zero
passenger fatalities and zero jet hull losses.
The all accident
rate was 2.30 per one million departures, compared to 9.73 for the
previous five years. The continent also saw continuing improvement
in turboprop safety, with a turboprop hull loss rate of 1.56 (85%
lower than its 2011-2015 yearly average). There was one non-fatal
turboprop hull loss.
"Sub-Saharan airlines delivered a
very strong performance in 2016," said de Juniac. "But we must not rest on this
success. Safety is earned every day. The lesson in Africa’s
improvement is that global standards like the IATA Operational
Safety Audit (IOSA) make a difference. African nations should
maintain this strong momentum by making IOSA and the IATA Standard
Safety Assessment (for those carriers that are not eligible for
IOSA) a part of their airline certification process. Regional
governments also need to accelerate the implementation of ICAO’s
safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS). As of
year-end 2016, only 22 African countries had at least 60% SARPS
The 33 sub-Saharan
airlines on the IOSA registry performed nearly twice as well as
non-IOSA airlines in 2016 in terms of all accidents and performed
7.5 times better than non-IOSA operators in the 2012-2016 period.
In 2016, the accident rate for IOSA members was
nearly twice as good as for non-IOSA airlines (1.25 vs. 2.36) and
it was more than three times better over the previous five years.
IOSA has created a standard that is comparable on a world-wide
basis, enabling and maximizing joint use of audit reports.
All IATA members are required to maintain
their IOSA Registration. There are currently 413 airlines on the
of which 144 are non-IATA members. In 2017, IOSA will be strengthened and
transformed into a digital program.
Six-Point Safety Strategy
IATA’s Six Point Safety Strategy
is a comprehensive data-driven approach to identify
organizational, operational and emerging safety issues:
Reducing operational risk such as LOC-I, CFIT and RE;
Enhancing quality and compliance through audit programs;
Advocating for improved aviation infrastructure such as
implementation of performance-based navigation approaches;
Supporting consistent implementation of Safety Management Systems;
- Supporting effective recruitment and training to enhance
quality and compliance through programs such as the IATA Training Qualification and Initiative;
- Identifying and addressing
emerging safety issues, such as lithium batteries and integrating
remotely-piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) into airspace.
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