A great time to be flying
Despite 2017 delivering the busiest year for air travel since records began, research into commercial airline safety showed there were no passenger aircraft crashes anywhere in the world during 2017.
Dutch consultancy To70 and The Aviation Safety Network both indicated that commercial passenger travel is currently the safest it has ever been, but did state the result was "extraordinarily" low, with "good fortune" an important factory not to be overlooked. Its also worth noting that smaller private aircraft, military and helicopter accidents don’t feature on the annual report.
Cargo air services weren’t so fortunate with the industry experiencing ten fatal accidents, resulting in 79 deaths. The largest incident of 2017 came in January when a Turkish cargo plane crashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan killing all four crew and 35 people on the ground.
The Aviation Safety Network stated: "Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organisations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry," ASN president Harro Ranter said.
To70’s Adrian Young also commented: "2017 was the safest year for aviation ever," but added civil aviation still carried "very large risks".
It seems the industry has been buoyed by a good safety record in 2017, but with more and more aircraft entering service, and the risks still running high through terrorism, the dangers created by new technology such as lithium-ion batteries catching fire on-board and crew facing continued pressure and scrutiny likely to yield mental health issues and fatigue, airlines could be facing a difficult 2018.