Air accidents on decline globally says IATA

  • Nigeria extends 11 years no fatality safety record



A safety report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed a reduction in the number of fatal accidents and the fatality risk, compared to 2021 and to the five-year average (2018-2022).

In Nigeria, air travel has become increasingly safer as the country has not witnessed serious air accidents since the crash of Dana Air’s Flight 0992 on June 3, 2012, killing everyone onboard and people on the ground.

Since then, the industry has enjoyed good oversight by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which is quick to ground any airline that is seen to be violating safety.

Scene of Dana plane crash in Iju Ishaga

It is no longer news that despite the obvious challenges that are often synonymous with Nigerian airlines, some have continued to strive to meet up with the safety standards set up by the global aviation authorities.

One such global authority is the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global clearinghouse for airlines that have proved themselves in line with the IATA stipulated rules that should position member airlines towards improving their operational safety, and integrity and enhance efficiency.

READ ALSO:  Akporiaye unfolds plans for new NANTA, seeks unity amongst members

One of the avenues IATA put on the ground to make member airlines achieve this is through its Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) which all members particularly, those operating international routes must adhere to.

The IATA, which represents some 300 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air traffic, released its 2022 Safety Report for global aviation.

In 2022, there were five fatal accidents involving loss of life to passengers and crew. This came down from seven in 2021 and an improvement on the five-year average (2018-2022) which was also seven. The fatal accident rate improved to 0.16 per million sectors for 2022, from 0.27 per million sectors in 2021, and also was ahead of the five-year fatal accident rate of 0.20, it said.

The accident rate was 1.21 per million sectors, a reduction compared to the rate of 1.26 accidents for 2018-2022, but an increase compared to 1.13 accidents per million sectors in 2021. The fatality risk declined to 0.11 from 0.23 in 2021 and 0.13 for 2018-2022.

READ ALSO:  How sustainable is FAAN’s ‘new’ airport infrastructure renewal?

The IATA member airlines experienced one fatal accident in 2022, with 19 fatalities.

“Accidents are rare in aviation. There were five fatal accidents on 32.2 million flights in 2022. That tells us that flying is among the safest activities in which a person can engage. But even though the risk of flying is exceptionally low, it is not risk-free. Careful analysis of the trends that are emerging even at these very high levels of safety is what will make flying even safer”.

This year’s report, for example, tells us that we need to make some special efforts on turboprop operations in Africa and Latin America. Safety is aviation’s highest priority, and our goal is to have every flight take off and land safely regardless of region or aircraft type,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh said.

READ ALSO:  NiMet DG pledges continuous support for WMO

The industry’s 2022 fatality risk of 0.11 means that on average, a person would need to take a flight every day for 25,214 years to experience a 100 percent fatal accident. This is an improvement over the five-year fatality rate (average of 22,116 years).


Despite the reduction in the number of fatal accidents, the number of fatalities rose from 121 in 2021 to 158 in 2022. The majority of fatalities in 2022 occurred in a single aircraft accident in China that claimed the lives of 132 persons.

The airline involved was not an IATA member but is on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry. The next largest loss of life occurred in an accident to an IATA member in Tanzania that resulted in 19 fatalities.

Wole Shadare