Africa reports zero airline accidents for first time in a decade

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has assisted in ensuring Africa reported no airline accidents in 2016 through improved safely regulations. This achievement of “zero passenger fatalities and jet hull losses was its best performance in a decade,” reported Business Ghana.

IATA released its 2016 Airline Safety Performance report earlier this year, which focused on the commercial airline sector. The year showed a 0,18 improvement in the accident rate year-on-year, from 1,79 in 2015 and 1,61 in 2016.

The report also stated that t10 fatal accidents were reported globally, resulting in 268 fatalities, which meant that the industry saw a decline in total accidents and fatal accidents in comparison to the five-year average of 13,4 fatal accidents and 371 fatalities per year.

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“Last year, some 3,8 billion travellers flew safely on 40,4 million flights. The number of total accidents, fatal accidents and fatalities all declined, versus the five-year average, showing that aviation continues to become safer. We did take a step back on some key parameters from the exceptional performance of 2015; however, flying is still the safest form of long-distance travel. And safety remains the top priority of all involved in aviation. The goal is for every flight to depart and arrive without incident. And every accident redoubles our efforts to achieve that,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director-General and CEO.

On the progress made by the African continent, which saw a significant 7,43 drop in the all accident rate from 9,73 in the previous five years and a 85% drop in the turboprop hull loss rate, compared to its 2011-2015 yearly average, Juniac stressed the importance of institutions such as the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) in ensuring continued improvement on the continent.

“Sub-Saharan airlines delivered a very strong performance in 2016. But we must not rest on this success. Safety is earned every day.” said Juniac. “African nations should maintain this strong momentum by making IOSA and the IATA Standard Safety Assessment – for those carriers that are not eligible for IOSA – a part of their airline certification process. Regional governments also need to accelerate the implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS). As of year-end 2016, only 22 African countries had at least 60% SARPS implementation,” he added.

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