Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2010 Contents Safety
According to the International Air
Transport Association (IATA),
2009 boasted the second-lowest air
accident rate in aviation history.
e IATA statistics measure hull-
losses affecting Western-built jet
aircra only, and show that last year's accident rate sank
to 0.71 hull losses per million ights from the year-earlier
gure of 0.81. at e ectively means that there was one
serious accident for every 1.4 million ights last year.
e lowest rate ever recorded to date was in 2006,
when the gure was just 0.65 per million ights. e
2009 accident rate represents a 36 percent improvement
from the rate recorded a decade ago in 2000.
In its regional breakdown, IATA said the accident
rate in the Asia-Paci c region worsened from 2008,
rising to 0.86 per million ights compared with the
previous year's 0.58. e gure is still a substantial
improvement over 2007's disastrous spike of 2.76 hull-
losses per million ights, caused by a series of accidents
in Indonesia that led to a blanket ban on the country's
airlines ying to Europe.
In absolute numbers, IATA said there were 19
accidents involving Western-built jet aircra last year,
compared with 22 in 2008, while 2.3 billion people ew
safely on 35 million ights overall.
Including non-Western aircraft types, the total
number of accidents rises as high as 90, compared
with 109 in 2008. Of this total, 18 involved fatalities,
compared with 23 a year earlier. e total number of
people killed in air accidents last year rose, however,
reaching 685 compared with 502 in 2008, when the
number of fatalities fell from 2007's total of 692, despite
an increase in the total number of accidents.
IATA points out that the gures continue a positive
overall safety trend.
"Even in a decade during which airlines lost an
average of US$5 billion per year, we still managed to
improve our safety record," said Giovanni Bisignani,
the organisation's director general and chief executive
o cer. "But every fatality is a human tragedy that
reminds us of the ultimate goal of zero accidents and
IATA said its 231 member airlines -- which together
account for some 93 percent of the world's scheduled,
international air tra c -- outperformed the industry
average, with a hull-loss rate for Western-built aircra
of 0.62, or one accident for every 1.6 million ights.
Bisignani added that the organisation added achieved
"a major milestone" in 2009.
"From 1 April, all IATA members were on the
registry of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)
-- a testimony to our commitment to the highest global
standards for operational safety," he said. "Today,
332 carriers are on the registry, including IATA's 231
According to the organization, IOSA "is the
global industry standard for airline operational safety
management". The audit's 900+ standards were
developed in cooperation with the world's leading
airlines and regulators -- including the US Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), the Australian Civil
Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the European
Joint Air worthiness Authorities (JAA) and Transport
Canada. ese standards represent industry best practice
in all aspects of operational safety.
IOSA registration is valid for two years from the date
at which the audit was commenced. Qatar Airways was
the rst airline to have its IOSA audit in September
At IATA's 2006 annual general meeting , the
organisation made IOSA a condition of membership,
setting three milestones. By 31 December 2006, member
airlines had to complete contractual arrangements for an
IOSA audit. By 31 December 2007, all audits needed
to be completed and all audit ndings had to be closed
and the carrier noted on the IOSA registry by the end
of 2008. Failure to meet any of the deadlines resulted
in termination of IATA membership, e ective 90 days
a er the milestone.
A total of nine carriers had their IATA memberships
terminated as a result of not meeting the 2006 or 2007
milestone deadlines. A further eight resigned their
memberships at the end of 2008 as they needed more
time to complete preparations for a successful audit. One
airline lost its IATA membership on 31 March 2009 as
a result of being unable to complete the registration
In 2009, IATA invested US$ 8 million to fund IOSA
audits for its member airlines. e organisation also
o ers audits to non-members through contracts with
one of eight accredited audit organisations.
"Meeting the high standards of IOSA was a challenge
for all airlines. Today, air travel is safer as a result of these
e orts," Bisignani said.
IOSA helps airlines focus their safety efforts by
reducing redundant and repetitive auditing. Audit
results, stored in a central database, can be shared with
partner airlines and governments, subject to the audited
airline's approval. Since its inception, IOSA has helped
to avoid almost 1,200 redundant audits, saving some
At the end of March, the European Commission
(EC) adopted its thirteenth update of the list of airlines
banned from operating to European Union (EU)
member states. Among other changes, the update
added a blanket ban on airlines from the Philippines,
while relaxing restrictions on North Korean ag-carrier
"Air Koryo ... subject to an operating ban since
March 2006, is allowed to resume operations into the
EU with two aircra which are tted with the necessary
equipment to comply with mandatory international
Accident rate falls as EU renews blacklist
While the global air accident rate fell last year, the Asia-Pacific region saw a slight increase. Now, Philippine
carriers have been banned from flying to Europe, writes Andrzej Jeziorski.
PAL is now effectively blocked from operating long-haul flights to Europe.
30 AsianAviation | APRIL 2010
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