ICAO Safety Report 2017 declares 2016 was the safest year ever for commercial air travel

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published its Safety Report 2017 which declared the year 2016 to be the safest year for commercial air travel. The Annual ICAO Safety Report provides updates on safety indicators, including accidents and related risk factors.

As per the ICAO safety report, Accident statistics for the last five years show a decrease in both the number of accidents as well as the accident rate. In 2016 the downward trend in the number of accidents continued with 75 accidents reported by States representing an 18 per cent decrease from 2015. Over the same period there was in increase in scheduled commercial departures which result in a global accident rate of 2.1 accidents per million departures, down by 25 per cent from the 2015 rate of 2.8 accidents per million departures.

Commercial air transport accidents in 2016 resulted in 182 fatalities, which is a return to a similar level as 2013 when there were 173 fatalities. The two intervening years had seen a spike in fatalities due to a number of acts of unlawful interference that resulted in a large number of casualties.


Figure: Accident Records: 2012–2016 Scheduled Commercial Flights

ICAO has categorized the accident data for scheduled commercial air transport according to RASG (Regional Aviation Safety Group) regions. Nepal lies in the RASG-APAC (Asia Pacific) region. The RASG-PA (Pan America) region is one of the largest by area and represents the highest volume of air traffic – however; RASG-APAC is quickly closing the gap. Consequently this region has a higher share of accidents although it is notable that there were no scheduled commercial air transport fatalities in 2016.




Figure: 2016 Scheduled Commercial Air Transport Accidents by RASG Region

Recently, ICAO conducted Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) here in Nepal dated 4th to 11th July, 2017 to evaluate the Significant Safety Concern (SSC) in Nepalese Aviation. The two member expert from ICAO along with the officials from Flight Safety Standard Department of Nepal visited the facility of Nepal Airlines Corporation and Himalaya Airlines and carried out the audit on four areas namely legislation, organization, flight operation and airworthiness.

Previously, ICAO raised a SSC in Air Operator Certification (AOC) process citing that Nepal was not fully following the Five Phase Process of AOC certification in accordance with ICAO requirements. The SSC Validation Committee Meeting held in 20 July, 2017 at ICAO Headquarter, Montreal has now resolved SSC issue of Nepal and removed from their red safety tag.

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) reported that removal of safety tag by ICAO is a huge achievement for Nepal but we need to show our continuous dedication towards the aviation safety. Nepal’s Effective Implementation (EI) has been identified 60 percent to the global safety benchmark by ICAO however; Nepalese aviation is seen weak in air crashes and organizations which is keeping Nepal in EU blacklist.


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