According to the latest figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the 2015 safety performance, African airlines safety seem to be moving in the right direction with less hull loss accidents in 2015 compared to previous years.
The world airline body said that Sub-Saharan airlines had four commercial hull loss accidents in 2015, two involving jets and two involving turboprops. One of the turboprop accidents resulted in passenger fatalities.
The body however sees this as an improvement no matter and called for better compliance to the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), as it will aid airlines in the region to be safe.
Director General and CEO IATA, Tony Tyler said, “African safety is moving in the right direction. In 2015 we saw improvements compared to the five-year accident rate for both jet and turboprop hull losses. Nevertheless, challenges to bringing Africa in line with global performance remain. One valuable tool to assist this effort is IOSA. The 32 Sub-Saharan airlines on the IOSA registry are performing 3.5 times better than non-IOSA operators in terms of all accidents (3.62 per million flights versus 12.99). States should make IOSA a part of the certification process.
“Governments in the region also need to accelerate implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS), according to the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP). As of the end of January 2016, only 21 African States had accomplished at least 60% of implementation of the SARPS,” said Tyler.
In Nigeria, Arik Air and First Nation are already IOSA compliant while Medview is undergoing the process and is aiming at a March deadline.
IATA, on the general data released for the 2015 safety performance of the commercial airline industry, declared that in 2015, global jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.32, which was the equivalent of one major accident for every 3.1 million flights.
The world airline body also said that the 2015 jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.22 (one accident for every 4.5 million flights), which outperformed the global rate by 31% and which was in line with the five-year rate (2010-2014) of 0.21 per million flights but above the 0.12 hull loss rate achieved in 2014.
The loss of Germanwings 9525 (pilot suicide) and Metrojet 9268 (suspected terrorism) that resulted in the deaths of 374 passengers and crew are tragedies that occurred in 2015. They are not, however, included in the accident statistics as they are classified as deliberate acts of unlawful interference.
Tyler said, “2015 was another year of contrasts when it comes to aviation’s safety performance. In terms of the number of fatal accidents, it was an extraordinarily safe year. And the long-term trend data show us that flying is getting even safer. Yet we were all shocked and horrified by two deliberate acts–the destruction of Germanwings 9525 and Metrojet 9268. While there are no easy solutions to the mental health and security issues that were exposed in these tragedies, aviation continues to work to minimize the risk that such events will happen again.”
The world airline body however said the overall data in comparison was not as good as the rate of 0.27 achieved in 2014 but a 30% improvement compared to the previous five-year rate (2010-2014) of 0.46 hull loss accidents per million jet flights.
The body also revealed that there were four accidents resulting in passenger fatalities in 2015, all of which involved turboprop aircraft, with 136 fatalities. This compares with an average of 17.6 fatal accidents and 504 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period (2010-2014).
IATA revealed further that more than 3.5 billion people flew safely on 37.6 million flights (31.4 million by jet, 6.2 million by turboprop). Also that there were136 fatalities compared to 641 fatalities in 2014 and the five-year average of 504. Including those who lost their lives in Germanwings 9525 and Metrojet 9268, the 2015 figure was 510.
The airline body further said that there were 68 accidents (all aircraft types) in 2015, down from 77 in 2014 and the five-year average of 90 per year and four fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 12 in 2014 and the five-year average of 17.6 with 6% of all accidents being fatal, below the five-year average of 19.6%
IATA said that there were 10 hull loss accidents involving jets compared to 8 in 2014 and the five-year average of 13 per year, zero jet hull loss accidents involving passenger fatalities, down from three in 2014, and the five-year average of 6.4 per year and stated that although there were no passenger fatalities on jet transports there were two accidents with jet aircraft which resulted in loss of life:
Eight fatalities on the ground resulted from a runway excursion in the DR Congo involving a freighter aircraft.
A passenger jet and a smaller jet conducting an air ambulance flight collided over Senegal. Damage to the passenger jet was moderate and there were no injuries to any on board. The wreckage of the air ambulance has not been located and is presumed lost with the deaths of all 7 persons on board.
Eight hull loss accidents involving turboprops of which four were fatal
On a region by region analysis, it revealed that all regions but one (North America) saw their safety performance improve in 2015 compared to the respective five-year rate 2010-2014, as follows: Africa (3.49 compared to a five-year rate of 3.69), Asia-Pacific (0.21 compared to 0.56), CIS (1.88 compared to 3.14), Europe (0.15 compared to 0.18), Latin America and the Caribbean (0.39 compared to 0.92), Middle East-North Africa (0.00 compared to 1.00), North America (0.32 compared to 0.13), North Asia (0.00 compared to a 0.06).
IATA also said that the world turboprop hull loss rate improved to 1.29 hull losses per million flights in 2015 compared to 3.95 in the five years 2010-2014.
The following regions saw their turboprop safety performance improve in 2015 when compared to the respective five-year rate: Africa (4.53 compared to a five-year rate of 18.20); Asia-Pacific (2.07 compared to 2.36); CIS (0.00 compared to 17.83), Europe (0.00 compared to 1.63); Latin America and the Caribbean (0.00 compared to 5.38), Middle East-North Africa (0.00 compared to 13.88); North America 0.51 compared to 1.38).
North Asia had the worst performance (25.19 compared to 5.90), reflecting two regional hull losses, one of which was fatal. Owing to the relatively few turboprop operations in North Asia—approximately 80,000 flights in 2015 out of a world total of 6.2 million–the statistical relevance of a small number of accidents is magnified.
Breaking it down further, the airline body said that airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Registry experienced 4 jet hull loss accidents (none fatal) and one fatal turboprop hull loss accident. The total accident rate (all aircraft types) for IOSA-registered carriers was nearly three times as good as the rate for non-IOSA carriers (1.14. vs. 3.23) last year; and over the five years 2010-2014, the rate is more than three times better (1.48 vs. 4.99).
As of 12 February, 408 airlines were on the IOSA registry. For IATA’s 262 member airlines, IOSA registration is a requirement. That some 146 non-member airlines are also on the registry is evidence that IOSA is the global benchmark for airline operational safety management.
“Now in its 13th year, IOSA continues to be recognized as the gold standard for airline operational audits. In 2016 we will continue to tweak IOSA to ensure we are maintaining the highest standards of quality assurance in the audit process,” said Tyler.