The 2020 IATA Fact Sheet gives an interesting insight into current levels of safety performance across Global Commercial Air Transport - Baines Simmons
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The 2020 IATA Fact Sheet gives an interesting insight into current levels of safety performance across Global Commercial Air Transport

With overall flying activity at just 53% of normal rates in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise to see overall accidents and fatalities down Year on Year.  However, the rate of accidents appear to have leapt up 154% Year on Year.  Whilst some of this leap may be attributable to the statistical effects of a smaller sample size, there is no doubt that accidents rates have increased, the question is why?  The fact sheet points to accident rates amongst IATA members seeing a much smaller rise than those of non-members, what is going on?

Our mature airline clients, with performing (Safety) Management Systems, are able to articulate the emerging risks they are facing, with issues such as skill fade and increased wildlife hazards featuring near the top for most; moreover, they can back these risk assessments up with data and are actively investing to manage them.  Accident rates are a very blunt indicator of risk and useless to most operators, only by having a performing management system can changes in risk be recognised and managed effectively.  We’d argue that, for a variety of socio-economic reasons along with the pro-active steps taken by IATA, their members are more likely to be in this category, fuelling the disparity.  The real test will the accident rate during the economic recovery period for commercial air transport, but this data will come too late to action.  Never has a well-led, performing, management system been so critical to future business success.

Read the full IATA fact sheet here