Is Air Travel Still Safe?


Howard Ankin

With so many airline crashes in the news, one has to wonder if it’s safe to fly anymore. Despite the threat of terrorist attacks, bombs and mid-air explosions, the International Air Transport Association assures passengers around the globe that air travel is still safe. According to recent data, 2015 was a safer year for air travel than 2013 or 2014. In 2015, over 3 billion passengers flew safely, without incident, on 37.6 million flights.

In the past 50 years, commercial airliners around the world have clocked nearly one billion flight hours. The airline industry is meticulous about keeping records and is constantly working to improve the design of airplanes and engines. In new jetliners, mechanical controls have been replaced with electronic controls, and today’s pilots are managers of information and technology. Satellite global positioning, advanced cockpit displays, and sophisticated telecommunication systems have enabled the highest level of flight precision. According to Boeing executives, fatal airline accidents occurred once in every 200,000 flights during the 1950s and 1960s, while today, they occur less than once in every two million flights.

Although airline technology is advanced, airlines know that it’s no substitute for experienced pilots with training, skill, and good judgment in the cockpit. There have been many documented airline accidents where the focus and good judgment of the pilot was responsible for preventing or reducing passenger injuries and fatalities. When US Airways Flight 1549 went down in New York’s Hudson River, the pilot, Sully Sullenberger, was credited with saving the lives of 155 people with few injuries. Aviation accidents often have devastating consequences for passengers. A Chicago airline injury compensation attorney handles many cases that result in large airline injury compensation settlements or verdicts for injuries and fatalities.

Thanks to modern technologies and safety procedures, air travel is still one of the safest ways to travel. publishes a list of the world’s safest airlines each year. They monitor 407 airlines for aviation safety and list the top 20 carriers. For the last three years, Qantas has topped the list for aviation safety with a fatality-free record.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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