IATA reports significant improvement in African aviation safety, but more needs to be done

29th February 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The global representative body for the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has reported that Africa’s aviation safety performance last year was a significant improvement over that for 2022. The association has released its 2023 Annual Safety Report.

African carriers did not suffer from any fatal accidents last year, whether on jet or turboprop airlines. They also experienced no jet hull losses last year. There have been no jet fatal accidents or jet hull losses in Africa since 2020. Regarding fatalities involving turboprop airlines, last year was the fifth time in the past nine years that zero such fatalities have been recorded (the first year in which the continent had experienced no fatalities in turboprops was 2015).

Africa’s all-accident rate last year was 6.38 per million sectors flown, a significant improvement over the figure of 10.88 recorded in 2022. The five-year 2019-2023 average figure was 7.11.

“Under the Focus Africa initiative, IATA introduced CASIP [the Collaborative Aviation Safety Improvement Programme] to enhance aviation safety in Africa,” the association pointed out. “CASIP efforts are continuing to partner with states to increase implementation of ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organisation] Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).”

However, the ICAO Global Aviation Safety Plan has increased the minimum SARP implementation from 60% to 75% and above. Currently, of Africa’s 54 countries, only 12 met this new threshold. This indicated, IATA said, “the need for significant improvements”.

Although Africa saw no fatal accidents involving turboprops last year, it did suffer turboprop hull loss accidents. It had a turboprop hull loss rate of 2.42 per million departures in 2023. This was, however, a major improvement over the rate for 2022, which had been 9.40. The 2019-2023 five-year average rate was 5.04.

The only other region to record turboprop hull losses last year was the Asia-Pacific, which recorded a rate of 0.87 per million departures. But that included the sole fatal airliner accident in the entire world in 2023, which claimed 72 lives. No region recorded any jet airliner hull losses.

Regarding the regional all-accident rates, that for the Asia-Pacific last year was 0.78, which was actually an increase over the figure of 0.56 recorded in 2022, but still lower than the five-year average of 1.06. For Europe, the rate for 2023 was 0.48, down from 2022’s 0.98, and better than the five-year average of 0.77. Latin America and the Caribbean saw a rate of 0.37 last year, a great improvement over the 4.47 reported in 2022; the five-year average was 1.91. The Middle East and North Africa had a rate of 1.16 in 2023, compared with 1.30 in 2022. North America was the other region which saw its rate increase last year, in year-on-year terms, to 1.14, from 0.53; its five-year average was 1.21. North Asia had an all-accident rate of zero in 2023, as against 0.45 in 2022; its five-year average rate was 0.16. The figures for the Commonwealth of Independent States (the successor countries of the previous Soviet Union) were provisional, and could be revised later, but currently were 1.09 for 2023, down from 2.16 in 2022; the five-year average was 3.19.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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