• Fatal Accidents

No growth in the number of fatal accidents despite a massive increase in exposure

Accidents are rare occurrences, consequently their number may vary from one year to the next. Therefore, focusing too closely on a single year’s figure may be misleading.

In addition, the volume of activity in aviation is constantly increasing and needs to be taken into account.

For these reasons it makes more sense to consider accident rates when making an analysis of trends.

 
Yearly number of fatal accidents

Rates of fatal accidents are steadily decreasing over time

The values of peak accident rate evidenced in the 1960s, when the number of flights was much lower than today, illustrate the difficulty of considering accident data from a period with a low volume of industry activity.

Today, approximately 36 million flights per year are completed by jet aircraft, making a sound statistical basis for analysis.

Yearly fatal accident rate per million flights

 
Yearly fatal accident rate

Fourth generation aircraft have the lowest fatal accident rate

Advances in technology have decreased accident rates for each generation.

The huge reduction in accident rates in aviation has been achieved by a long and ongoing commitment by our industry. Aircraft systems technology in particular has constantly evolved with safety in mind. Since the late 1950s, jet aircraft technologies have evolved through four different generations.

Comparison of accident rates by generation of aircraft provides a clear illustration of the value of our industry’s investments in technology for Safety.

Fourth generation jets have the lowest accident rate of all. In 2019, the fourth generation fatal accident rate was 0.05 accidents per million flight cycles. This was approximately a third of the rate for third generation aircraft.

10 year moving average fatal accident rate (per million flights) per aircraft generation

 
10 year moving average fatal accident rate by aircraft generation