The global commercial air transport industry’s safety record improved by 54 percent between 2007 and 2016, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says in its annual Safety Report.
Safety Report 2016 — made public Tuesday, several weeks after the release of preliminary data — said the 2016 accident rate of 1.61 accidents per million flight sectors was 10 percent lower than the 2015 rate.
Overall, 2016 performance included 268 fatalities, an increase of 97 percent over 2015 but still below the previous five-year average of 371. Ten fatal accidents were recorded in 2016, up from four in 2015; of the 10 accidents, six involved cargo flights, IATA said. Two of those fatal accidents involved EgyptAir Flight 804, an Airbus A320 that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, killing all 66 passengers and crew, and LaMia Flight 2933, an Avro RJ85 that crashed near Rionegro/Medellín Airport on Nov. 28, killing 71 of the 77 passengers and crew. The IATA report includes only fatalities involving people in the airplane, not those who are killed on the ground.
In other developments, data showed significant improvement in 2016 in Africa, where the overall accident rate was 2.30 per million sectors and the turboprop accident rate was 3.31 per million sectors (down 42 percent from the 2011–2015 annual average).