Alexandria, VA, January 29, 2007 — The aviation industry worldwide in 2006 suffered fewer major accidents compared to 2005, but the fatality toll was not significantly reduced. So says Jim Burin, Flight Safety Foundation’s director of technical programs, in the latest issue of AeroSafety World.
While the number of major accidents in commercial aviation declined from 16 in 2005 to 11 last year, there were 745 fatalities, compared to 778 fatalities in 2005. However, a 5.2 percent increase in commercial jet departures combined with fewer accidents to produce an accident rate that for the first time declined below 0.4 major accidents per million departures, Burin said.
The report notes that approach and landing accidents still account for more than 50 percent of major accidents and that the industry needs to continue its work to address this problem. The Foundation has conducted 24 workshops around the world, including three in 2006, to disseminate the risk-reduction tools and products of the FSF Approach and Landing Accident Reduction Tool Kit. Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) and loss of control (LOC) accidents were also identified as problems.
Burin further noted in the report that “the ability of the terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) to help prevent CFIT accidents remained unchallenged in 2006 as, once again, no TAWS-equipped aircraft was involved in a CFIT accident.” The report recognizes that reducing human error is the most difficult challenge facing the Flight Safety Foundation and other groups working to lower the risk of an accident.
The full report appears in the February 2007 issue of AeroSafety World.
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents. www.flightsafety.org
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