The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) presents statistics on European and worldwide civil aviation safety on an annual basis. The statistics are grouped according to type of operation, for instance commercial air trasnsport, and aircraft category, such as aeroplanes, helicopters and gliders.
2010 was a very good year for aviation safety in Europe. It was the first year that no fatal accident in commercial air transport operations occured in the history of aviation in Europe both for helicopter and aeroplane operations. Also, the fatal rate of scheduled passenger operations with aeroplanes was significantly lower in Europe than in the rest of the world.
The total number of accidents for commercial air transporters within the 27 European Union Member States of EASA was 26, the number of fatal accidents was 0 which is the first time this has ever occured which shows that continued safety systems introductions within the Aerospace Industry.
The total number of accidents for aircraft below 2250 kg within the 27 member states of EASA was 449, the number of fatal accidents was 53 which although high, is consirably lower than 2009 figures of 533 accidents and 65 fatalities. 15% of these accidents were related to Business travel.
In other world regions the number of fatal accidents increased from 39 to 47.
Between the years of 1948 and 1968 there was a 10 fold improvement from 5 to 0.5 fatalities per 100 million passenger miles flown. For 2010 this rate is estimated’ to have stayed at 0.01 fatalities per 100 million miles flown.
The types of accidents vary but there are observations made and trends identified. In recent years the proportion of accidents which included the categorisation of ARC (Abnormal Runway Contact) has overall increased. Such accidents usually involve long, fast or hard landings. Often during such accidents the landing hear or other parts of the aircrat are damaged. There is also an increase in the percentage of accidents involving RAMP (ground handling) events. These accidents involve damage to the aircraft by vehicles or ground equipment or the incorrect loading of an aeroplane. We will all be pleased to know that accidents attributed as (DFIT) ‘controlled flight into terrain’ appear to have an overall decreasing percentage (think that means crashing into trees).
The most significant accident category in relation to Air Traffic Management issues is the ‘collision between aircraft moving on the ground and vehicle/person/obstruction(s)’. The root cause of these reported accidents is ‘unauthorised penettration of airspace (also known as airspace infringements), aircraft deviation from Air Traffic Control clearance.
Download the full EASA Annual Safety Review 2010.