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2017 was safest year in aviation history

January 3, 2018

The Aviation Safety Network has released the 2017 airliner accident statistics showing an extremely low total of 10 fatal airliner accidents, resulting in 44 fatalities. 

The year 2017 turned out to be the safest year ever for commercial aviation, Aviation Safety Network data show.

Over the year 2017 the Aviation Safety Network recorded a total of 10 fatal airliner accidents [1], resulting in 44 occupant fatalities and 35 persons on the ground. This makes 2017 the safest year ever, both by the number of fatal accidents as well as in terms of fatalities. In 2016 ASN recorded 16 accidents and 303 lives lost.

Five accidents involved cargo flights, five were passenger flights. Given the expected worldwide air traffic of about 36,800,000 flights, the accident rate is one fatal passenger flight accident per 7,360,000 flights.

The low number of accidents comes as no surprise, according to ASN President Harro Ranter: “Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organisations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry.”

On December 31, aviation had a record period of 398 days with no passenger jet airliner accidents. Additionally, a record period of 792 days passed since the previous civil aircraft accident claiming over 100 lives [2].

One out of 10 accident airplanes was operated by an airline on the E.U. “blacklist”.

[1] Statistics are based on all worldwide fatal commercial aircraft accidents (passenger and cargo flights) involving civil aircraft of which the basic model has been certified for carrying 14 or more passengers. Consequently, the June 7 accident involving a Myanmar Air Force Y-8F transport plane that killed 122 is not included.
When including military transport aircraft as well as non-commercial flights, the total number fatalities would be 230 in 24 fatal accidents. Still the lowest numbers in modern aviation history.

[2] Last fatal passenger jet airliner accident: 28 Nov. 2016, Avro RJ85 LaMia, near Medellin, Colombia
Last civil aircraft accident claiming over 100 lives:
31 Oct. 2015, Airbus A321 Metrojet, North Sinai, Egypt (224 fatalities)

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