The global aviation industry had its safest year on record in 2017 with zero commercial passenger jet fatalities, according to Dutch aviation consulting firm To70.
According to the company’s Civil Aviation Safety Review 2017, the only two reported fatal accidents, which resulted in 13 casualties, included turbo-prop aircraft. These aircraft are not included in the statistics due to them being below the maximum take-off mass the company sets for the report.
These statistics mean that the rate of fatal accident is just one in 16 million flights.
Despite this, 2017 did include 111 non-fatal accidents, and while the figures are incredibly impressive this year, To70 notes that the industry still carries major risks. “Whilst the safety levels of modern civil passenger airplanes remain high, the extraordinarily low accident rate this year must be seen as a case of good fortune”, the company said in its report.
Among the key safety risks facing the aviation industry moving forward is the increase of lithium-ion batteries being used in electronic devices, which can pose a fire risk.
Many airlines no longer allow travellers to check-in lithium-ion batteries. Others including Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines also recently have announced new regulations restricting the use of “smart luggage”, requiring that the batteries can be removed for either check-in or carry-on.