Accidents are still rare in aviation, with just five fatal accidents among 32.2 million flights in 2022, according to the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) Safety Report for global aviation released last night, March 7.
The number of fatal accidents and the fatality risk also decreased, compared to 2021 and to the five year average (2018-2022), the report showed.
“But even though the risk of flying is exceptionally low, it is not risk-free,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, acknowledged.
“Careful analysis of the trends that are emerging even at these very high levels of safety is what will make flying even safer,” he maintained.
“This year’s report tells us that we need to make some special efforts on turboprop operations. Safety is aviation’s highest priority, and our goal is to have every flight take off and land safely regardless of region or aircraft type.”
Last year”s five fatal accidents, involving 1 jet and 4 turboprop, was lower than 2021″s seven fatal accidents, which involved 1 jet and 6 turboprop aircraft.
It was also an improvement on the five year average (2018-2022) which was also seven.
IATA member airlines experienced one fatal accident in 2022, with 19 fatalities.
The aviation sector’s fatality risk declined to 0.11 from 0.23 in 2021 and 0.13 for the five years, 2018-2022.
This means that as of last year, on average, a person would need to take a flight every day for 25,214 years to experience a 100 percent fatal accident.
This was an improvement over the five-year fatality rate (average of 22,116 years).
Despite the reduction in the number of fatal accidents, the number of fatalities rose from 121 in 2021 to 158 in 2022.
The majority of fatalities in 2022 occurred in a single aircraft accident in China that killed 132 people.
The airline involved was not an IATA member but is on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry.
The next largest loss of life occurred in an accident to an IATA member in Tanzania that resulted in 19 fatalities.
However, the fatal accident rate improved to 0.16 per million sectors for 2022, from 0.27 per million sectors in 2021, and also was ahead of the five year fatal accident rate of 0.20.
The all accident rate was 1.21 per million sectors, a reduction compared to the rate of 1.26 accidents for the five years 2018-2022, but an increase compared to 1.13 accidents per million sectors in 2021.
In terms of jet hull loss rate, the global average rose slightly in 2022 compared to the five-year average (2018-2022).
A hull loss is an accident in which the aircraft is destroyed or substantially damaged and is not subsequently repaired for whatever reason, including a financial decision of the owner.
Last year, five regions saw improvements, or no deterioration, compared to the five-year average.
The number of turboprop accidents declined in 2022 compared to 2021 but they accounted for four of the five fatal accidents last year with loss of life to passengers and crew onboard.
Although sectors flown by turboprops represented just 10.6 percent of the total, turboprops were involved in 36 percent of all accidents, 80 percent of fatal accidents and 16 percent of fatalities in 2022.
A total of six regions, Asia Pacific included, showed improvement or no deterioration, in the turboprop hull loss rate in 2022 when compared to the five-year average.
The two regions to see increases compared to the five-year average were Latin America/Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa.”Introduction and adherence to global standards (including IOSA) are key to reversing turboprop accidents,” Walsh stressed.
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