The safest in the history of commercial civil aviation, that’s what 2017 turned out to be. This is clear from parallel surveys on the online aviation security network portal and the Dutch consulting firm To70, quoted by the BBC.
Adrian Young, of To70, says “Twenty-seventeen is the safest year for aviation ever.’ On ther hand he admits civil aviation still has “a very high risk”. In his words, the main challenges for flights are new technologies, including lithium-ion batteries, which can cause fire, as well as the possible mental problems of the people on board.
According to To70, the announcement of the “safest” year comes in the background of an unprecedented increase in civilian flights around the world.
The aviation security network reports that in 2017 there were ten aircraft crashes – five freight and five passengers, leading to the deaths of 79 people. That number is in times less than the 16 fatal incidents in 2016, in which 303 people lost their lives. The organization includes in its calculations all flights with smaller airplanes that are entitled to carry at least 14 people.
The heaviest incident for the past year was in January when a Turkish cargo plane crashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan, killing four crew and 35 people on the ground. The crash with the most victims on board was New Year’s Eve when a Cessna 208 Caravan crashed into the western parts of Costa Rica and took 12 lives.
The calculations of both sources do not include crashes with military planes or helicopters. Thus the most deadly air accident of the year – when the Myanmar military transport aircraft Y-8 crashed in June and killed 122 people – is not included in the total statistics.
Over the past two years there has been a steady decline in the number of air crash casualties. Only in 2005 there were over 1,000 deaths in commercial civil flights, the Aviation Security Network recalls.
According to To70 data, every 16 million flights are one fatal accident, although the calculations were made before the Costa Rican accident.