The international air transport industry achieved its safest year on record in 2017, with a total of 10 major accidents involving western-built aircraft resulting in 55 fatalities, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
This represents a loss rate approaching one major accident for every four million flights, which AAPA attributes to the efforts of regulators and industry safety stakeholders working in close collaboration.
Looking at western-built commercial jets, there were three major accidents which resulted in a total of 40 fatalities. Asia-Pacific carriers experienced one major accident involving large western-built commercial airline jets, with zero crew and passenger fatalities.
Commercial turboprop operations also achieved significant safety performance improvements, according to AAPA. In 2017 there were seven major accidents involving this type of aircraft, which resulted in a total of 15 fatalities, including one major accident involving an Asian operator which resulted in two fatalities.
Andrew Herdman, director general of AAPA, commented: “With the demand for air travel growing continuously, the world’s airlines are now responsible for safely transporting over four billion passengers each year. About one third of those passengers are being carried by airlines based in Asia-Pacific, on some of the busiest routes in the world. Understandably with this responsibility, safety is always our first priority.”
Herdman continued: “For Asia-Pacific, the growth in demand for air travel brings with it challenges requiring more attention. Governments need to focus on wider issues related to aviation infrastructure capacity constraints and congestion, the need for more effective regulatory oversight and investments that provide a future air transport system meeting prescribed international standards, not only for safety, but also for environment, security and other key performance standards.”