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2023 Was A Record Year For Aviation Safety, IATA Shares Stats

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its 2023 Annual Safety Report for global aviation. Aviation continues to progress on safety, with several 2023 parameters showing “best-ever” results. 

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There were no hull losses or fatal accidents involving passenger jet aircraft in 2023. However, there was a single fatal accident involving a turboprop aircraft, resulting in 72 fatalities. There were 37 million aircraft movements in 2023 (jet and turboprop), an increase of 17% on the previous year.

2023 Aviation Industry Safety Performance Overview

Lowest All-Accident Rate In Over A Decade

The aviation industry achieved a notable safety milestone in 2023, with the lowest all-accident rate in over ten years. The rate fell to 0.80 accidents per million flights, significantly improving from 1.30 the previous year. Airlines outperformed the five-year average accident rate of 1.19. This equates to one accident for every 1.26 million flights.

Moreover, the risk of fatalities also saw considerable progress, dropping to 0.03 from the prior year’s rate of 0.11. Statistically, an individual would need to fly every day for about 103,239 years to encounter a fatal accident, emphasizing the rarity of such events in air travel.

In a further safety win, IATA member and IOSA-registered airlines reported no fatal accidents throughout the year.

Tragically, the year did see one fatal accident involving a turboprop aircraft, with 72 people losing their lives. Nonetheless, this represents a safety improvement compared to the five prior years’ average of five fatal accidents.

Jet operations particularly stood out, with no losses or fatalities.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, called on states to ensure proper analysis and reporting of aircraft accidents, saying: “Safety enhancements and the prevention of future accidents stem from learning from past incidents. For airlines, this means cultivating a robust safety culture where every employee feels accountable for safety and is motivated and expected to report safety-related information. For states, it involves providing timely, comprehensive, and public accident reports. Out of 226 accidents in the past six years, only 121 final accident reports have been made available. This shortfall is not only a blatant disregard for the Chicago Convention but also undermines the safety of our passengers and crew. Governments and their agencies must step up their efforts.”

2023 Safety Data at a Glance

Reviewing statistics by region:

  • North America encountered a slight increase in overall accidents, but the rate remains lower than the five-year regional average.
  • The Asia-Pacific region’s accident rate increased, influenced by a tragic loss-of-control event in Nepal. This was the sole fatal accident in this region for the year.
  • Africa improved notably, with the rate dropping and no reported fatalities or jet hull losses.
  • The Middle East and North Africa also improved, reporting no accidents related to Global Navigation Satellite System interference.
  • Europe saw a decline in the overall accident rate, with no fatalities reported since 2018.
  • In Latin America and the Caribbean, the accident rate per million flights also improved, doing better than the regional five-year average.

IOSA remains a critical standard for airline operational safety, with airlines on the IOSA registry boasting a much lower accident rate than non-IOSA airlines.

For more comprehensive data and accident definitions, visit IATA’s Safety Fact Sheet.

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