Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Stats: 2017 Was Safest Year for Air Travel on Record

2017 Safest Year on Record for Commercial Passenger Air Travel No, Donald Trump Has Not Made It Safer to Fly
Elsie Buchanan | 03 January, 2018, 02:14

Five crew members were killed when their Boeing 727 crashed to the ground in Colombia.

The Aviation Safety Network (ASN) revealed in their annual report that there had only been 10 fatal air accidents, resulting in 44 occupant fatalities and 35 persons on the ground, in what was described as an "exceptionally good year for civil aviation safety" in 2017.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders did not answer directly when asked at a briefing if Trump's White House predecessor, Barack Obama, also deserved credit for the long stretch without a USA commercial passenger jet crash. Monday marked the 399th day since the last fatal passenger jet airliner accident, according to CNN Money. That crash in November 2016 killed 71 of the 77 people aboard, including most of the Brazilian Chapecoense football team.

Airliner accidents have been on a consistent decline since 1992. And changes to pilot training and global regulations have yielded results in significantly tamping down airliner accidents.

That figure includes 12 people killed on December 31 when a Nature Air Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft crashed minutes after takeoff into a mountainous area off the beach town of Punta Islita, Costa Rica.

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In March, the United States imposed restrictions on passengers carrying laptops in cabins on nine primarily Middle Eastern airlines to address the potential threat of hidden explosives. The ASN considers that plane a commercial aircraft.

It was also noted that if non-commercial flights and military incidents were included, fatalities would jump to 230 over 24 accidents. The 2017 numbers were "still the lowest numbers in modern aviation history", according to Harro Ranter, the chief executive for ASN.

The deadliest incident a year ago occurred in January when a Turkish cargo jet smashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan as it tried to land at a nearby airport in dense fog, killing 35 on the ground and all four onboard.

Sanders said Trump "has raised the bar for our nation's aviation safety and security", citing his proposal to privatize air traffic control, which has not been approved, and the Homeland Security Department's enhanced security measures.

Trump had harsh words for the FAA's air-traffic control system previous year during the debate over whether it should be privatized and spun off to a non-profit. The major USA airlines haven't suffered a fatal crash since 2001 and there has not been a fatality aboard a US carrier since February 2009, when Colgan Air 3407 crashed on approach into Buffalo, killing 49 aboard and one on the ground.

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