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Aviation safety

The meaning of «aviation safety»

Aviation safety means the state of an aviation system or organization in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level. It encompasses the theory, practice, investigation, and categorization of flight failures, and the prevention of such failures through regulation, education, and training. It can also be applied in the context of campaigns that inform the public as to the safety of air travel.

Aviation safety should not be confused with airport security which includes all of the measures taken to combat intentional malicious acts.

In 1926 and 1927, there were a total of 24 fatal commercial airline crashes, a further 16 in 1928, and 51 in 1929 (killing 61 people), which remains the worst year on record at an accident rate of about 1 for every 1,000,000 miles (1,600,000 km) flown.[citation needed] Based on the current numbers flying, this would equate to 7,000 fatal incidents per year.

For the ten-year period 2002 to 2011, 0.6 fatal accidents happened per one million flights globally, 0.4 per million hours flown, 22.0 fatalities per one million flights or 12.7 per million hours flown.[2]

From 310 million passengers in 1970, air transport had grown to 3,696 million in 2016, led by 823 million in the United States, then 488 million in China.[3] In 2016, there were 19 fatal accidents of civil airliners of more than 14 passengers, resulting in 325 fatalities, the second safest year ever after 2015 with 16 accidents and 2013 with 265 fatalities.[4] For planes heavier than 5.7 t, there were 34.9 million departures and 75 accidents worldwide with 7 of these fatal for 182 fatalities, the lowest since 2013 : 5.21 fatalities per million departures.[5]

In 2017, there were 10 fatal airliner accidents, resulting in 44 occupant fatalities and 35 persons on the ground: the safest year ever for commercial aviation, both by the number of fatal accidents as well as in fatalities.[6] By 2019, fatal accidents per million flights decreased 12 fold since 1970, from 6.35 to 0.51, and fatalities per trillion revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) decreased 81 fold from 3,218 to 40.[7]

Runway safety represents 36% of accidents, Ground Safety 18% and Loss of Control in-Flight 16%.[5]

The main cause is Pilot in Command error.[citation needed] Safety has improved from better aircraft design process, engineering and maintenance, the evolution of navigation aids, and safety protocols and procedures.

There are three main ways in which risk of fatality of a certain mode of travel can be measured: Deaths per billion typical journeys taken, deaths per billion hours traveled, or deaths per billion kilometers traveled. The following table displays these statistics for the United Kingdom 1990–2000. Note that aviation safety does not include the transportation to the airport.[8][9]

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Aviation safety improvement initiativesAviation Safety Reporting SystemAviation Safety Network
Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)Aviation Safety Knowledge Management EnvironmentTaiwan Transportation Safety Board
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