Commercial aviation experienced its safest year in 2023, with record-low numbers of accidents and deaths, according to a leading air safety expert. Throughout the year, there were only two fatal accidents, a significant decrease from the six in 2022. Both incidents involved propeller aircraft on domestic flights, resulting in a total of 86 deaths, which is less than half of the 178 fatalities in 2022. In comparison, the latest UN figures show that an average of 148 people die per hour on the world’s roads.
According to a civil aviation safety review by the Dutch air-safety organization To70, both the number of accidents and fatalities in 2023 were at a record low. The fatal accident rate was less than one in 15 million flights, which is three times better than the 10-year average. Notably, there were no fatal accidents involving international flights or passenger jets.
The first fatal crash occurred in Nepal on January 15, 2023, involving an ATR-72 aircraft belonging to Yeti Airlines. The subsequent investigation revealed that high workload and stress on the flight deck were responsible for the crash. The second fatal accident took place in Brazil on September 16, 2023, when an Embraer 110 belonging to Manaus Airlines crashed during bad weather, resulting in the deaths of all 14 passengers and crew.
The safety expert also noted the exclusion of certain incidents, such as the crash of a private jet carrying the boss of Russia’s Wagner Group, citing Russia’s refusal to involve other authorities or the aircraft manufacturer in the investigation. Despite the low accident rate in 2023, the expert emphasized the need for continued vigilance in the aviation industry, particularly regarding issues like turbulence-related injuries.
It is important to note that this year marks the 10th anniversary of two tragedies involving Boeing 777 aircraft belonging to Malaysia Airlines. Given these developments, the industry continues to stress the importance of remaining vigilant and addressing ongoing challenges to ensure aviation safety for all.