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IATA releases 2017 airline safety performance
8 March 2018

IATA releases 2017 airline safety performance

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for the 2017 safety performance of the commercial airline industry showing continued strong improvements in safety.

  • The all accident rate (measured in accidents per 1 million flights) was 1.08, an improvement over the all accident rate of 1.68 in 2016 and the rate of 2.01 for the previous 5-year period (2012-2016).
  • The 2017 rate for major jet accidents (measured in jet hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.11, which was the equivalent of one major accident for every 8.7 million flights. This was an improvement over the rate of 0.39 achieved in 2016 and also better than the five-year rate (2012-2016) of 0.33.
  • There were 6 fatal accidents with 19 fatalities among passengers and crew. This compares with an average of 10.8 fatal accidents and approximately 315 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period (2012-2016). In 2016 there were 9 fatal accidents and 202 fatalities.
  • None of the 6 fatal accidents involved a passenger jet. Five involved turboprop aircraft and one involved a cargo jet. The crash of the cargo jet also resulted in the deaths of 35 persons on the ground, as well as the crew of the jet.
  • IATA member airlines experienced zero fatal accidents or hull losses in 2017 with jet or turboprop equipment.


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Flight Safety Foundation calls for renewed focus on quality for pilot training and proficiency

Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) is urging the global commercial aviation industry to embrace a data-driven approach to pilot training, and says that national civil aviation authorities need to have the flexibility to adopt competency- or evidence-based training methods.

In a position paper, the Foundation says, “It cannot be assumed that critical skills and knowledge will be obtained only through hours in the air.”

Pilot experience, which is an important safety factor, historically has been associated with the number of flight hours accumulated over a pilot’s career. What often is overlooked, however, is the quality of flight time and how it is accumulated, FSF says. Was it in single- or multi-engine aircraft? In visual or instrument conditions? In a structured, professional environment, or in an often less intense, general aviation environment?

In the position paper, the Foundation says the industry has reached a crossroads in determining how pilots need to be selected, hired, trained and mentored for career growth, and that changes need to be made if the industry is to continue its high level of safety in an era of expected rapid growth in many regions of the world.

The Foundation issued several recommendations, including:
• An improved screening process and training for basic non-technical competencies that are usually obtained through experience, such as communication, analysis, problem solving, leadership and decision making;
• A renewed focus on the competency and quality of training providers to ensure training programs are developed and delivered to meet the safety standards of the industry, and so they can produce qualified, competent pilots;
• Training programs that are competency- or evidence-based and not solely hours-based;
• Data-driven training programs that are continually updated, based on pilot task–level performance;
• Ab initio programs with operator sponsorship/support;
• Development and sponsorship of worldwide quality/performance criteria that are universally recognized;
• A partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organization and industry to define rules, recommendations, guidelines and the expected quality and performance required of flight academies; and,
• Programs that place a high value on the knowledge and experience of instructors.

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ATR 72-500 nearly lands on ultralight airstrip instead of Kish Island Airport runway, Iran

EASA publishes the 2018-2022 European Plan for Aviation Safety

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published the 2018-2022 European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS)

The EPAS, a key component of the European Aviation Safety Programme, provides a framework for safety work at European level, helping the identification of major safety risks and defining the actions to take. It also intends to supports the Member States of the European Union to implement their State Safety Programmes and is meant to facilitate the sharing of best practice and knowledge.

Strategic priorities for operational safety of Commercial Air Transport aircraft are: aircraft upset in flight (Loss of Control) and runway excursions and collisions. Additionaly, EASA is planning to address current and future safety risks like Cybersecurity and Conflict Zones.



Costa Rica suspends Nature Air during ongoing investigation of fatal Cessna Caravan accident

Costa Rica’s aviation authority (Dirección General de Aviación Civil) suspended the Nature Air’s AOC on January 12, 2018, over safety issues.

DGAC Costa Rica made this decision because several key employees were no longer with the company. Nature Air’s pilot training director died in the accident on December 31 while the operations manager quit and the safety manager had requested a leave of absence.

DGAC states that Nature Air only has 3 crews for the coverage of all flight routes, including the safety manager who is currently on sick leave.

ASN data show 2017 safest year in aviation history

Final report cites inadequate CRM in Boeing 737-800 hitting approach lights on landing at Katowice, Poland

FAA issues safety alert: High Collision Risk During Runway Crossing

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO), to warn pilots of high-risk category runway incursions and potential collisions in the first two-thirds (2/3) of an active runway.

The FAA states a high percentage of Category A or B runway incursions, and the highest risk of collisions, occur in the first two-thirds of a runway.
A Category A runway incursion is a serious incident in which a collision is narrowly avoided. A Category B runway incursion is an incident in which separation decreases and there is a significant potential for collision, which may result in a time-critical corrective/evasive response to avoid a collision.


The SAFO contains several recommended actions for pilots, vehicle/tug drivers, and operators.


Search for MH370 to resume as Malaysia strikes deal with Ocean Infinity

The Australian Transport minister confirmed that the Malaysian Government is entering into an agreement with Ocean Infinity, to search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Malaysian Government has accepted an offer from Ocean Infinity to search for the missing plane, entering into a ‘no find no fee’ arrangement.  Ocean Infinity will focus on searching the seafloor in an area that has previously been identified by experts as the next most likely location to find MH370. Australia, at Malaysia’s request, will provide technical assistance to the Malaysian Government and Ocean Infinity.

The search for MH370, missing since March 8, 2014,  was suspended on 17 January 2017.

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ICAO Council urges compliance from North Korea on aerial testing

The ICAO Council expressed its strong condemnation of the continued launching of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) over or near international air routes, which seriously threatens the safety of international civil aviation.

It was noted that the North Korean missile launches had occurred over international air routes and without prior notice being given, causing significant concerns to the safety of international civil aviation in the region. In response to these incidents, the President of the Council had sent several letters to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to urge the country to comply with established international provisions.

As an ICAO Member State, North Korea is expected to notify adjacent countries of any activity or incident arising from its territory which may pose risks to nearby civil aviation routes or operations. This would include matters such as volcanic ash clouds from local eruptions, or aerial testing which may affect civil aviation.