By Victor Ernest
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Friday said that Sub-Saharan Africa had its best safety performance in the last decade in 2016.
IATA said that airlines from the region had zero passenger fatalities and zero jet hull losses in its data released for the 2016 safety performance of the commercial airline industry.
Accident rate in 5 years
The IATA’s Director-General, Alexandre De Juniac, in a document on Friday said all the accident rate was 2.30 per one million departures, compared to 9.73 for the previous five years.
He said the continent also saw continued improvement in turboprop safety, with a turboprop hull loss rate of 1.56 (85 percent lower than its 2011-2015 yearly average).
According to him, there was one non-fatal turboprop hull loss, adding that the Sub-Saharan airlines delivered a very strong performance in 2016.
”But we must not rest on this success. Safety is earned every day,” he said.
Advice to the African nations
The director general urged the African nations to maintain its momentum by making IOSA and the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (for those carriers that are not eligible for IOSA) parts of their airline certification process.
He also urged the regional governments to accelerate the implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS).
”As of year-end 2016, only 22 African countries had at least 60 percent SARPS implementation,” De Juniac said.
He added that the 33 sub-Saharan airlines on the IOSA registry performed nearly twice as well as non-IOSA airlines in 2016 in terms of all accidents.
They also performed 7.5 times better than non-IOSA operators in the 2012-2016 period, he said.
On the global scale, De Juniac said all the accident rate (measured in accidents per 1 million flights) was 1.61 percent, an improvement from 1.79 percent in 2015.
2016 accident rate
He noted that the 2016 major-jet-accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.39, which was the equivalent of one major accident for every 2.56 million flights.
The director-general therefore stated that the rating was not as good as the rate of 0.32 achieved in 2015 and was also above the five-year rate (2011-2015) of 0.36.
”There were 10 fatal accidents with 268 fatalities. This compares with an average of 13.4 fatal accidents and 371 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period (2011-2015),” he said.
De Juniac said the 2016 jet hull loss rate for IATA member airlines was 0.35 percent (one accident for every 2.86 million flights).
According to him, while this outperformed the global hull loss rate, it was a step back from the 0.22 accidents per million flights achieved by IATA members in 2015.