Air Travel Has Safest Year Yet
Fatality rate lowest in the age of jets
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2012 8:38 AM CST
2012 is the safest year on record for air travel since the age of jets.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Newser) – A happy milestone in airline safety: This year has been the safest by far since humans started tooling around in jets, reports the Wall Street Journal. Among the numbers it cites from the Aviation Safety Network:

  • Worldwide, 22 fatal crashes had been reported this year as of yesterday, down from 28 last year and from a 10-year average of 34. None were in the US, a streak that goes back to 2009.
  • Only 10 of those involved passenger planes, and just three of those were made in the West.
  • The total of 470 fatalities is down from the 10-year-average of 770.
  • The rate of one fatal accident per 2.5 million flights is nearly twice as safe as last year's previous record.
  • The improved numbers come as more people are flying—2.9 billion in 2012, up 5.5% from 2011.
  • Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean have work to do: Those regions accounted for 7% of the world's passenger traffic but about half of the year's airline accidents.
Update: The number of fatal accidents is rising by one: A passenger plane went off the runway at Moscow Airport this morning and caught fire, killing four of the eight aboard, reports AP.

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Dec 30, 2012 1:03 PM CST
The real Danger is in the Airport!
Dec 29, 2012 12:28 PM CST
GREAT TIMING FOR AIR SAFETY - 12-27 Delta flight from Atlanta to Baltimore blew an engine - flight attendants going crazy - no direction to passengers - dropped mile plus - no pressure in cabin - passengers on their own - fortunately safely returned to Atlanta and landed and passengers were dumped by Delta with no check to see if anyone was injured - or help getting connections - you know all the stuff reliable airlines are supposed to do. There were 10 plus soldiers on this flight - USO at Baltimore closed - Delta told them to find their own way (they were to connect with flight to Germany) - missed flight by 15 minutes so Delta told them to sleep on the floor and figure it out themselves. Now they didn't volunteer this wonderful information they had to be prodded and finally when one soldier took command of the unit he got Delta to cough up some rooms for overnight - but soldiers were suffering from severe headaches from sudden depressurization. Delta didn't care and you know the Army doesn't care either. We have a wonderful volunteer force but they sure can't depend on Delta, the airports, the Army or anyone else. These soldiers were fresh out of boot on first time deployment and many first time taking a flight and this is what our wonderful airlines have to offer them. This needs to be publicized but so far I can't get anyone to listen to me. There has been nothing on the news about this near death happening but yet you brag about the safety of our airlines. Having an engine blow sounds like very poor maintenance and the FAA should be involved. What do you think? Will you fly Delta - I absolutely will not.
Dec 29, 2012 12:09 PM CST
As far as I'm concerned, Newser may as well stop covering stories that point to the Wall Street Journal. It's pay-only now and I'd rather burn the cash in my barbecue than give it to a Murdoch-owned rag.