2019: relatively safe, despite a rise in accidents
The Aviation Safety Network today released the 2019 airliner accident statistics showing a total of 20 fatal airliner accidents, resulting in 283 fatalities.
Despite the high-profile Boeing 737 MAX accident, the year 2019 was one of the safest years ever for commercial aviation, Aviation Safety Network data show. Yet, while the number of fatalities has decreased, the number of accidents has increased to a level above the five-year average.
Over the year 2019, the Aviation Safety Network recorded a total of 20 fatal airliner accidents , resulting in 283 (occupant) fatalities. This makes 2019 the seventh safest year ever by the number of fatal accidents and the third safest in terms of fatalities. The safest year in aviation history was 2017 with 10 accidents and 44 lives lost.
Thirteen accidents involved passenger flights, six were cargo flights. One out of 20 accident aeroplanes were operated by airlines on the E.U. blacklist, down by two compared to 2018.
Surprisingly more than half of the accidents (11) occurred in North America (compared to just one in 2018 and three in 2017). Five accidents occurred in remote or rugged parts of Canada and Alaska. Despite progress made through various safety initiatives by Canadian and U.S. regulators, this still is an area of concern.
Given the estimated worldwide air traffic of about 39,000,000 flights, the accident rate is one fatal accident per almost two million flights.
Reflecting on this accident rate, Aviation Safety Network’s CEO Harro Ranter stated that the level of safety has increased significantly: “If the accident rate had remained the same as! ten years ago, there would have been 34 fatal accidents last year. At the accident rate of the year 2000, there would have been even 65 fatal accidents. This shows the enormous progress in terms of safety in the past two decades.”
Reflecting on the 737 MAX grounding, Ranter states 2020 should be a decisive year on how the international aviation industry will handle aircraft design, flight crew procedures and certification in the wake of the 4th longest airliner grounding.