AIR TRAVEL: MORE ACCIDENTS & FEWER FATALITIES

Andrea Hausold - Mar 2, 2009
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Air accidents are now more common but fatality levels have dropped. Flights have become more survivable when in trouble. Fatality down by 56% a year ago.Reading the good news of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that air crashes are globally more survivable, not long after 9 people died near Amsterdam’s Schipol airport, may come as no consolation to their families. However, this very example is typical of the way in which flying is becoming safer, even when the aircraft gets into trouble. The Turkish Airlines flight was split into three pieces, yet the vast majority of people survived, most even walking out of the crashed plane in clouds of smoke merely looking confused.Between the years 2007 and 2008, according to IATA the fatality rate on board aircraft dropped by an astonishing 56%, to a precise 0.13 people per million. However, the frequency of accidents actually increased. The global accident rate in 2008 was 0,81 or one accident for every 1.2 million flights whereas in 2007 the rate was 0,75 or one accident for every 1.3 million flights. Therefore, accidents were slightly more common yet there is a greater chance of surviving them.This, of course, does not sound like great news to passengers. Admittedly, nobody wants to be involved in any kind of accident, even if the chances of survival do seem greater. This new fact has been put down to increased air traffic worldwide with a related increase in the quality of safety equipment and safety training for passengers. When cars became more and more popular in the late 80’s, the situation was very similar. The introduction of ABS brakes and airbags were needed to combat the increased traffic.Perhaps surprisingly, Northern Asia seems to be the safest area for flying, with almost no records of accidents. North America is also quite safe, slightly more so than Europe. The least safe continent for flying is Africa. All of this data was provided by the IATA.

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