MORE FLIGHTS, FEWER CRASHES MARK 2007 AS GOOD YEAR…06/01/2008
Last year was one of the safest in aviation history, with the
lowest number of crashes in 44 years, an independent watchdog said
There were 136 serious accidents in 2007, down from 164 crashes the previous
year, the Aircraft Crashes Record Office said.
The figure is the lowest since 1963, although some accidents were still
under review by insurance companies, ACRO said in a statement.
The Geneva-based organization said 965 people died in plane crashes in
2007 - a drop of 25 percent from the previous year.
Meanwhile, preliminary estimates by the International Civil Aviation
Organization show air travel increased by over 3 percent in 2007 to about
2.2 billion passengers.
Almost a third of all crashes last year occurred in North America, with 34
accidents in the United States alone, ACRO said. However, the number of
people killed in airline accidents in the U.S. dropped from 75 in 2006 to 66
last year, according to a tally of incidents listed on the ACRO Web site.
Ronan Hubert, ACRO's director, said aviation in general was becoming safer
every year but that some countries, including the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Indonesia, and Colombia, were slower to improve airline safety.
The July 17 crash in Brazil of a Tam Linhas Aereas SA jetliner, which
slammed into a building in Sao Paulo - killing 199 people - was the worst
single accident of 2007.
Other major accidents included the crash of a Kenya Airways plane in May,
with 114 fatalities, and the January crash of an Adamair flight in Indonesia
with 102 deaths.
Most crashes involved small, propeller-powered planes, ACRO said. Larger,
jet-powered planes accounted for only a quarter of accidents, but carried
the highest fatality figures because of the greater number of passengers.
Eight planes made by Seattle-based Boeing were lost last year, compared with
four European-made Airbus and 12 Ukrainian Antonov planes.
ACRO records all aviation accidents in which planes capable of carrying at
least six passengers in addition to the crew are damaged beyond repair.