Free Press Journal

2016 was one of safest years ever for air travel: Experts


London: The year 2016 was one of the safest on record for aviation, despite 271 deaths in seven fatal events including high-profile tragedies of an Egyptair flight in May and a LaMia jet carrying a Brazilian football team in November, experts have claimed, says PTI.

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There were just five fatal accidents worldwide involving civil passenger airliners, according to the Hague based international aviation consultancy, to70. An attempted inflight bombing on a flight in Somalia killed only the perpetrator and a firefighter died tackling the blaze when an Emirates plane crashed on landing in Dubai; all on board survived, it said.

The consultancy counted 271 deaths in the seven fatal events. Sixty four aircraft were involved in crashes without loss of life. “Whilst any accident is too many, we would argue that such low accident rates demonstrate the effectiveness of aviation safety standards in mitigating flight safety risks,” said Adrian Young, Senior Aviation Consultant for to70.

“The survival of all passengers and crew aboard the Emirates flight is testament to the excellent aircraft design standards and the capable responses of cabin crew and firefighters,” said Young.

The worst accident of 2016 involved the LaMia jet that ran out of fuel close to the Colombian city of Medellin on November 28. Almost all of the squad of a top Brazilian football team, Chapecoense, were among the 71 victims on the flight from Santa Cruz in Bolivia.

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The second-highest death toll was on May 19 when 66 people died as an Egyptair Airbus A320 came down in the Mediterranean, ‘The Independent’ reported. Such events present “a compelling case for shifting improvement efforts from aircraft safety to airport security,” Young said.

The death toll in the two previous years was significantly higher. In 2015, 471 people died in four crashes. In 2014, 864 people died in five crashes, the report said.