NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Sub-Saharan African region recorded zero passenger fatalities and zero jet hull losses in 2016, making it the best performance in the last decade.
Data released by International Air Transport Association, which represents 83 percent of all airlines worldwide, reveals that the rate of accidents dropped to 2.30 per one million departures, compared to 9.73 for the previous five years.
There was also continued improvement in turboprop safety, with a turboprop hull loss rate of 1.56 marking an 85 percent drop than its 2011-2015 yearly average.
“Sub-Saharan airlines delivered a very strong performance in 2016. But we must not rest on this success. Safety is earned every day,” IATA Director General Alexander de Juniac said Friday.
The continental progress is despite the flattening of aviation accidents globally, that saw a marginal drop in fatalities.
Overall, there were 65 accidents in 2016 compared with 68 in 2015 and an annual average of 81 over the last five years.
“The lesson in Africa’s improvement is that global standards like the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) make a difference. African nations should maintain this strong momentum by making IOSA and the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (for those carriers that are not eligible for IOSA) a part of their airline certification process.”
He additionally cautioned regional governments to accelerate the implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS).
“As of year-end 2016, only 22 African countries had at least 60 percent SARPS implementation,” de Juniac said.