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

(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.

2012 is the safest year on record for air travel since the age of jets.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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