African airlines recorded one of their safest years during 2023, registering no fatal accident for the fourth year in a row.

According to the International Air Transport Association (Iata) aviation safety review for 2023, which was released this week, African airlines have not suffered a single passenger jet aircraft losses or fatal accidents since 2020. Last year was also the fifth instance of Africa reporting zero fatal accidents involving turboprop aircraft in the past nine years.

The accident rate improved from 10.88 per million sectors in 2022 to 6.38 in 2023, bettering the five-year average of 7.11 accidents per million sectors flown by African airlines.

Africa’s safety performance mirrored global trends with no hull losses or fatal accidents involving passenger jet aircraft in 2023, despite 17 percent increase in aircraft movements. There were 37 million aircraft movements in 2023, including both jet and turboprop aircraft during the year.

“Aviation places its highest priority on safety and that shows in the 2023 performance. Jet operations saw no hull losses or fatalities. Last year also saw the lowest fatality risk and ‘all accident’ rate on record.

A single fatal turboprop accident with 72 fatalities, however, reminds us that we can never take safety for granted. And two high profile accidents in the first month of 2024 show that, even if flying is among the safest activities a person can do, there is always room to improve. This is what we have done throughout our history.

And we will continue to make flying ever safer,” said Willie Walsh, Iata director general.

The record was only blemished by one fatal accident involving a turboprop aircraft, in which 72 people died. Still, this was a reduction from five fatal accidents in 2022 and an improvement on the five-year average (2019-2023) which was five.

According to the report, the all-accident rate improved to 0.80 per million sectors in 2023 from 1.30 in 2022 — equivalent to one accident for every 1.26 million flights — the lowest rate in over a decade. This rate was better than between 2019 and 2023 rolling average of 1.19.

The fatality risk also improved to 0.03 in 2023 from 0.11 in 2022 and 0.11 for the five years, 2019-2023.“At this level of safety, on average a person would have to travel by air every day for 103,239 years to experience a fatal accident,” Iata says in the report.

The improvements in aviation safety are attributable to a number of industry initiatives, including the Iata Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). Iata says member airlines and non-member airlines on the IOSA register did not suffer a fatal accident in 2023.

Under its Focus Africa initiative, Iata last June, introduced the Collaborative Aviation Safety Improvement Programme (CASIP) to improve aviation safety in Africa. Through CASIP, states are being nudged to increase their implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for aviation safety. So far, only 12 of Africa’s 54 states meet the minimum threshold of implementing 75 per of ICAO’s SARPS, indicating a huge gap for improvement.

© Copyright 2022 Nation Media Group. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (