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According to The International Air Transport Association (IATA), flying is safer than ever before.
This comes as statistics from IATA show that the accident rate in 2018 was lower than the previous five year period. This signals long-term improvements in safety across the commercial aviation sector.
In 2018, around 4.3 billion passengers took to the sky on 46 million flights. The data reveals that the accident rate is extremely low, with one accident for every 740,000 flights. There were 11 fatal accidents in 2018, resulting in 523 deaths across the whole industry.
Alexandre de Juniac, Director General of IATA, stated that somebody could take a flight each day for 241 years before getting into an accident where anyone on board was killed. This makes it the safest way to travel long distances in the history of transport.
Why is flying getting safer?
Pilots are highly skilled professionals who undergo rigorous and regular training. What’s more, pilots are often required to take aptitude and psychometric tests to show that they have the right kind of personality for the role. Commercial passengers are in very safe hands, as there are always two pilots on the flight deck. They watch what the other is doing carefully and continuously evaluate safety and follow careful procedures.
One of the most significant improvements has been transparency within the industry. PIlots report their mistakes for others to learn from. Data collected from accidents also helps to put safeguards in place to prevent dangerous incidents from occurring again.
Continual improvements in technology also ensure that flying is safer than ever. Everything from design to navigation is continuously updated to ensure efficiency and safety. Plus, highly advanced technology is used to map routes and detect weather patterns to ensure the flight is the safest possible. Technology also helps to train pilots, for example, using simulators.
Planes go through rigorous testing before they are certified as air-worthy. This includes tests for bird strikes, lightning strikes, and wing flexibility. Before each flight, the pilots perform a pre-flight check to ensure all the equipment is working and the plane is safe to fly. Maintenance staff perform a range of checks at various intervals throughout a plane’s career to ensure it is safe. If an aeroplane is considered unsafe for any reason, a backup aircraft will be used instead.
Why are people still scared of flying?
Even though we know that flying is safer than any other transportation, it’s still a common fear. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), many people with a fear of flying are scared that their anxiety will overwhelm them during a flight. Often, people have flown comfortably many times over the years, only to find they are suddenly struck with terror. This new anxiety can sometimes emerge around the time of a significant life event, such as a death or marriage, which leaves people feeling very confused. Fear of flying is very common, with around one in five people reporting this phobia. Being gradually exposed to flying, taking medication, or going to therapy can all help relieve the anxieties around flying.