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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
January 3, 2019
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The number of fatal air crashes around the world has risen sharply over the last 12 months, according to new figures.
According to a report by the Aviation Safety Network, there were 15 fatal airline crashes in 2018, which resulted in the death of 556 people.
The figures show a sharp rise from 2017, which was the safest year in aviation history, when there were 10 recorded accidents and 44 lives lost.
Types of flights involved
The report adds that 12 of the fatal crashes last year involved passenger flights and three were cargo flights.
And it states three out of the 15 planes involved were operated by airlines on the EU’s blacklist.
The Aviation Safety Network figures only include commercial aircraft accidents.
Additional military accidents
Consequently, the accident last April involving an Algerian Air Force IL-76 transport plane that killed 257 is not included.
The report states the total number fatalities would be 917 in 25 fatal accidents if military accidents were included in its figures.
Increase in safety levels
But despite the increase, Aviation Safety Network’s Chief Executive, Harro Ranter said safety levels have also increased significantly.
“If the accident rate had remained the same as 10 years ago, there would have been 39 fatal accidents last year,” said Mr Ranter.
“At the accident rate of the year 2000, there would have been 64 fatal accidents. This shows the enormous progress in terms of safety in the past two decades.”
Civil aviation review
The international aviation consultancy To70 has also published its own review of civil aviation safety for 2018, which recorded 160 accidents, 13 of which were fatal and resulted in 534 deaths.
According to To70, fatal accidents involving large passenger aircraft remain “rare events”.
It estimates the rate of fatal accidents for large aeroplanes in commercial air transport at 0.36 fatal accidents per million flights – or one fatal accident every 3 million flights.
The To70 report shows the biggest single loss of life occurred in October, when a brand-new Boeing 737 Max aeroplane crashed into the sea near Tanjung Bungin in Indonesia, shortly after take-off with the loss of 189 lives.
And in February, 71 people were killed when an Antonov An-148 aeroplane operated by Saratov Airlines in Russia crashed after taking off from Stepanovskoye.