2008 EASA Annual Safety Review Reveals Mixed Results

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published its Annual Safety Review for the year 2008. The number of fatal accidents involving aircraft registered in Member States of EASA * and performing commercial air transport operations remained at the level of 2007 (three). This number is one of the lowest in the decade and well below the average of six fatal accidents per year.

In 2008, 5.5 percent of all fatal accidents in commercial air transport worldwide occurred with airplanes registered in an EASA Member State. This low number of fatal accidents was overshadowed by the tragic accident of a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft in Spain involving 154 fatalities. The number of onboard fatalities for 2008 (160 fatalities), which was above the average of the decade (105 fatalities), was mainly due to this one accident.

Regarding aircraft registered in the rest of the world, the number of fatal accidents in the same type of operation decreased from 53 in the year 2007 to 51 accidents in 2008. The number is within the decade’s average (53 accidents). The report also includes data on commercial helicopter operations and aircraft involved in General Aviation and aerial work.

Maintaining and improving aviation safety in Europe and worldwide continues to be the Agency’s main priority. The Annual Safety Review also offers an overview of aviation safety measures taken by the Agency, including the progress of the European Strategic Safety Initiative (ESSI).

The Annual Safety Review is compiled by EASA to inform the public of safety levels in civil aviation and is available on the Agency’s website easa.europa.eu/ws_prod/g/g_sir_review.php.