There were 210 fatalities from commercial aviation accidents in 2013, reduced from 414 in 2012
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released 2013 commercial aviation safety performance.
IATA will release its 50th annual Safety Report on 3 April including complete data and analysis of the 2013 safety performance. Over the five years 2009-2013, the industry has shown improvement in both accident rates and fatalities, although year-to-year comparisons may fluctuate.
2013 Safety by the numbers:
Airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit Registry (IOSA) experienced six Western-built jet hull loss accidents. The total accident rate (all aircraft types) for IOSA-registered carriers was more than two times better than the rate for non-IOSA carriers (1.46 vs. 3.60). Today, 391 (3) airlines are on the IOSA registry (www.iata.org/registry). For IATA’s 240 airlines, IOSA is a requirement for membership in the association. That some 151 non-member airlines are also on the registry is a clear indication that IOSA is the global benchmark for airline operational safety management.
“The overall performance of IOSA airlines shows that the audits are among the factors having a positive impact on safety. To increase the effectiveness of the IOSA process, we are upgrading to Enhanced IOSA which incorporates systems to monitor compliance across the two-year audit cycle. This is moving IOSA from a once-every-two-year snapshot to a continuous management process,” said Tyler.
Regional performance—Western-built jet hull loss rates
Africa has seen significant progress in safety. African airlines experienced only one Western-built jet hull loss last year. The Western-built jet hull loss rate improved 55.4% between 2013 and 2012, while the region’s accident rate for all aircraft types improved nearly 50% (7.45 accidents per million flights from 14.80 in 2012).
“We are seeing progress in Africa. Airlines on the IOSA registry are performing almost seven times better than non-IOSA operators in the region. But we must remember two things. First, Africa’s overall rate is still many times worse than global levels, so there is plenty of work to do. Second, we cannot take the recent improvement trend for granted. To make these gains a sustainable foundation on which to achieve world-class safety levels is going to require the continued determination and commitment of all stakeholders, including governments,” said Tyler.
Aviation stakeholders, including IATA, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and others have united behind the Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan aimed at achieving world-class safety levels by 2015 by addressing safety deficiencies and strengthening regulatory oversight capabilities.
A key focus for governments in the effort to achieve more effective safety oversight will be the implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS), according to the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP). As of the end of 2013, only 11 African states had achieved 60% implementation of the SARPS. Meeting the Abuja Declaration’s 2015 commitment will require a major acceleration in the pace of implementation.
Safety in the CIS
IATA member airlines in the CIS experienced zero accidents in 2013, outpacing all regions. However, the region as a whole experienced a significant deterioration compared to 2012. The proposed safety enhancement strategy in CIS is based on boosting individual states’ oversight capabilities and ensuring compliance with ICAO standards and recommended practices; introduction of Safety Management Systems; launch of the IATA Training and Quality Initiative (ITQI)-based model; and infrastructure development including assistance in the implementation of Performance-based Navigation (PBN). IATA encourages regulators in individual states to benefit from existing internationally-recognized audit programs, like IOSA, by utilizing them to enhance safety oversight systems already in place.
Runway Safety: Runway excursions, in which an aircraft departs a runway during landing or takeoff, are the most common type of accident, accounting for 23% of all accidents over the past five years (2009-2013). Survivability of such accidents is high, representing less than 8% of fatalities over the previous five years. Improving runway safety is a key focus of the industry’s strategy to reduce operational risk. Information sharing, risk analysis, training and analysis of the taxonomy of runway safety are all part of the industry’s comprehensive approach to improvement in this area. The second edition of the Runway Excursion Risk Reduction Toolkit (produced in 2011 with ICAO) and ICAO’s new Runway Safety Implementation Kit (iKit), developed in collaboration with IATA and several other aviation organizations are examples of how industry stakeholders are aligning resources to drive improvements in this area.
Loss of control in-flight (LOC-I): While few in number, LOC-I accidents almost always are catastrophic; 95% of the LOC-I accidents over the past five years involved fatalities to passengers or crew. There were eight LOC-I accidents in 2013, all of which involved fatalities, and over the period from 2009 through 2013, 10% of all accidents were categorized as LOC-I. These resulted in 1,546 of the 2,585 fatalities over this period. IATA is working to compile LOC-I prevention training materials in a single online resource, with an accompanying LOC-I prevention toolkit.
Controlled-flight-into-terrain (CFIT) accidents are also a concern. There were six in 2013. Most CFIT accidents occur in the approach and landing phase of flight and are often associated with non-precision approaches. From 2009 through 2013, 52% of CFIT accidents were known to involve the lack of a precision approach. There is a very strong correlation between the lack of Instrument Landing Systems or state-of-the-art approach procedures, such as performance base navigation (PBN) and CFIT accidents.
IATA has embarked on a strategy to reduce CFIT accidents by establishing a campaign for states to expedite the implementation of PBN approach procedures for runways lacking precision approaches.
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