2017 was safest year ever for commercial air travel, with zero deaths
Zero deaths were reported for passenger jet travel in 2017, making it the safest year on record for commercial aviation, according to the Dutch aviation group To70 and the Aviation Safety Network.
Reports released from the two groups on Monday said that there were no deaths aboard commercial passenger jet airplanes in 2017.
“2017 was the safest year for aviation ever,” said To70’s Adrian Young.
For cargo airplanes and commercial passenger propeller airplanes, there were 10 fatal incidents in 2017 resulting in 44 deaths on board aircraft and 35 deaths on the ground.
The deadliest aircraft-related incident of 2017 occurred in January, when a Turkish cargo plane crash landed in Kyrgyzstan, killing four crew members and 35 people on the ground.
Young also cautioned that the risks involved in aviation remain high, as evidenced by the Turkish crash and other more minor fatal incidents last year.
“The risks to civil aviation remain high as shown by the seriousness of some of the non-fatal accidents,” Young told The Independent.
“It is unlikely that this historic low will be maintained; in part, these very positive figures rest on good fortune. Nevertheless, the safety level that civil aviation has achieved is remarkable,” he added.
Fatal incidents involving passenger jets have been falling steadily for decades. Reuters notes that as recently as 2005, 1,015 deaths occurred on commercial passenger flights around the world.
The last fatal commercial jet crash in the U.S. occurred in 2009, when a passenger jet crashed in Clarence Center, New York, killing 50 people. The last fatal commercial jet crash worldwide occurred in Medellin, Colombia, in November 2016 and killed 71 people.