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.