March 9, 2015
2014 global jet accident rate lowest ever despite flights MH370 and MH17 blight
IATA have just released the jet accident rate figures for 2014 and, despite two major airline disasters, the overall figure was the lowest in air history, with a rate of 0.23 hull losses per 1 million flights and equivalent to one single accident per 4.4 million flights. This was a substantial improvement compared to the rate of 0.41 in 2013 (one accident per2.4 million flights) and, in addition, better than the previous five-year rate of 0.58.
In 2014 there were exactly a dozen fatal accidents involving every aircraft type, resulting in 641 fatalities. The number of accidents was well down on the previous five-year average of 19, but sadly the death toll was higher than the five-year average of 517 fatalities. For members of IATA, the 2014 jet hull loss rate was 0.12, or one accident per 8.3 million flights, a figure 48% lower than the global average and well down on the previous five-year IATA member rate of 0.33.
According to Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO “Any accident is one too many and safety is always aviation’s top priority. While aviation safety was in the headlines in 2014, the data show that flying continues to improve its safety performance.”
However, for data recording purposes, the loss of flight MH 17 through attack by anti-aircraft weaponry means its loss and death toll are not included in accident figures as a result of globally-recognized accident classification criteria. The same criteria applied to the four aircraft involved in the 9/11 tragedy.
“The shooting down of MH 17 took with it 298 lives in an act of aggression that is by any measure unacceptable. Governments and industry have come together to find ways to reduce the risk of over-flying conflict zones. This includes better sharing of critical information about security risks to civil aviation. And we are calling on governments to find an international mechanism to regulate the design, manufacture and deployment of weapons with anti-aircraft capabilities,” Tyler also stated.
“To the flying public an air tragedy is an air tragedy, regardless of how it is classified. In 2014 we saw a reduction in the number of fatal accidents—and that would be true even if we were to include MH 17 in the total. The greatest tribute that we can pay to those who lost their lives in aviation-related tragedies is to continue our dedication to make flying ever safer. And that is exactly what we are doing,” Tyler finally remarked.