IATA Releases 2014 Safety Performance
The 2014 global jet accident rate was 0.23, which was the lowest rate in history and the equivalent of one accident for every 4.4 million flights.
Fewest jet hull losses but rise in total fatalities
Hong Kong - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released 2014 commercial aviation safety performance.
The 2014 global jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.23, which was the lowest rate in history and the equivalent of one accident for every 4.4 million flights. This was an improvement over 2013 when the global hull loss rate stood at 0.41 (an average of one accident every 2.4 million flights) and also an improvement over the five-year rate (2009-2013) of 0.58 hull loss accidents per million flights jet.
There were 12 fatal accidents involving all aircraft types in 2014 with 641 fatalities, compared with an average of 19 fatal accidents and 517 fatalities per year in the five-year period (2009-2013).
The 2014 jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.12 (one accident for every 8.3 million flights), which outperformed the global average by 48% and which showed significant improvement over the five-year rate of 0.33.
“Any accident is one too many and safety is always aviation’s top priority. While aviation safety was in the headlines in 2014, the data show that flying continues to improve its safety performance,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
MH 370 and MH 17
The year 2014 will be remembered for two extraordinary and tragic events—MH 370 and MH 17. Although the reasons for the disappearance and loss of MH 370 are unknown, it is classified as a fatal accident—one of 12 in 2014. The aviation industry has welcomed the proposal by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to move towards the adoption of a performance-based standard for global tracking of commercial aircraft, supported by multi-national operational assessments to evaluate impact and guide implementation.
The destruction of MH 17 by anti-aircraft weaponry, however, is not included as an accident under globally-recognized accident classification criteria. The four aircraft involved in the events of 9.11 were treated in the same way.
“The shooting down of MH 17 took with it 298 lives in an act of aggression that is by any measure unacceptable. Governments and industry have come together to find ways to reduce the risk of over-flying conflict zones. This includes better sharing of critical information about security risks to civil aviation. And we are calling on governments to find an international mechanism to regulate the design, manufacture and deployment of weapons with anti-aircraft capabilities,” said Tyler.
“To the flying public an air tragedy is an air tragedy, regardless of how it is classified. In 2014 we saw a reduction in the number of fatal accidents—and that would be true even if we were to include MH 17 in the total. The greatest tribute that we can pay to those who lost their lives in aviation-related tragedies is to continue our dedication to make flying ever safer. And that is exactly what we are doing,” said Tyler.
2014 Safety by the numbers:
- More than 3.3 billion people flew safely on 38.0 million flights (30.6 million by jet, 7.4 million by turboprop)
- 73 accidents (all aircraft types), down from 81 in 2013 and the five-year average of 86 per year
- 12 fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 16 in 2013 and the five-year average of 19
- 16% of all accidents were fatal, below the five-year average of 22%
- 7 hull loss accidents involving jets compared to 12 in 2013 and the five-year average of 16
- Three fatal hull loss accidents involving jets, down from six in 2013, and the five-year average of eight
- 17 hull loss accidents involving turboprops of which nine were fatal
- 641 fatalities compared to 210 fatalities in 2013 and the five-year average of 517
Jet hull loss rates by region of operator
All regions but one showed improvement in 2014 when compared to 2013. The exception is Europe which maintained the rate of 0.15 jet hull losses per 1 million sectors.
All regions saw their safety performance improve in 2014 compared to the respective five-year rate 2009-2013 as follows:
- Africa (from 6.83 to 0.00) ;
- Asia-Pacific (from 0.63 to 0.44);
- CIS (from 2.74 to 0.83);
- Europe (from 0.24 to 0.15);
- Latin America and the Caribbean (from 0.87 to 0.41);
- Middle East-North Africa (1.82 to 0.63);
- North America (from 0.20 to 0.11)
- North Asia (from 0.06 to 0.00).
CIS had the worst performance (0.83) among regions, but it showed strong improvement over three consecutive years: 6.34 (2011), 1.91 (2012), 1.79 (2013).
Turboprop hull loss rates by region of operator
The world turboprop hull loss rate improved to 2.30 hull losses per million flights in 2014 compared to 2.78 in the five years 2009-2013.
The following regions saw their turboprop safety performance improve in 2014 when compared to the respective five-year rate: Asia-Pacific (from 2.16 to 0.00); CIS (from 12.12 to 11.95); Europe (from 1.46 to 0.71); Latin America and the Caribbean (from 4.53 to 1.21); Middle East-North Africa (from 7.91 to 7.17).
Africa had the worst performance (14.13 hull losses per million flights) in 2014 for turboprop hull losses, which exceeded the region’s five-year rate of 9.62. There are relatively few turboprop operations in North Asia so the single turboprop hull loss experienced in the region in 2014 caused the turboprop hull loss rate to rise to 11.28 compared to the five-year rate of. 2.41. North America also saw a deterioration in 2014 compared to the preceding five years (1.19 vs. 1.02).
Increased Focus on Turboprop Operations
The accident rate for operators of turboprop aircraft on the IOSA Registry was 0.47 hull losses per million flights or less than 1 hull loss accident for every 2 million flights. However, the overall rate was significantly higher (2.30 per million flights). IATA and other stakeholders are addressing this shortfall through increased focus on improved safety awareness, systems, training, and airport infrastructure serving this type of operation. Additionally, statistics show that operators in all sectors continue to deliver better safety performance when the operator’s operational infrastructure, including that of its safety management capabilities, is robust. Operational standards such as IOSA, which require this robust infrastructure are a key to safer operations.
Using Data Analysis to Drive Improvements
Historically, aviation safety has improved through a well-established process of accident investigations that identify the probable causes and recommend mitigation measures. However, as aviation becomes ever safer, there are so few accidents that they cannot yield the trend data that is vital to a systemic risk-based approach to improving safety. Future safety gains will come increasingly from analyzing data from the more than 38 million flights that operate safely every year, rather than just the handful of flights where something goes wrong.
To support this requirement, IATA has created the Global Aviation Data Management (GADM) program as a comprehensive safety data warehouse. GADM includes analysis reports covering accidents, incidents, ground damage, maintenance and audits, plus data from nearly 2 million flights and over 1 million air safety reports. More than 470 organizations, including more than 90% of IATA member airlines, are participating in at least one GADM database.
“The GADM program will enhance aviation’s ability to identify areas of concern before they rise to the level of potential threats. Stakeholders are committed to advancing safety through a data-driven approach supported by cooperation and reliance on global standards and best practices,” said Tyler.
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