The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is concerned that aviation accident reports are published with considerable delays. This contravenes the 1944 Convention of International Aviation or the Chicago Convention and prevents lessons can be learned. During Monday’s Annual General Meeting in Istanbul, IATA called on governments to maintain the longstanding obligation to timely publish reports. IATA is concerned about delayed publication of accident reports.
“Of the 214 accidents in the last five years, only 96 final accident reports are available. This is an inexcusable violation of the Chicago Convention and a disservice to the safety of our passengers and crew. Governments and their agencies must improve,” Director General Willie Walsh said in his speech.
The Chicago Convention dictates that states that are in charge of an accident investigation must submit a preliminary report to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) within thirty days of the accident. The final report must be published as soon as possible and within twelve months of the accident. If that is not possible, interim statements should be published annually.
Nick Careen, Senior Vice President Operations, Safety, and Security said during a presentation later that same day that just 31 reports were published in less than one year of the accident. The majority (58) have taken between one and three years to be released. He also noted that interim statements often provide little more than what was presented in the preliminary report. “Five of the 96 reports do not meet ICAO’s criteria for such reports while four others are not publicly accessible for various reasons,” said Careen.
“Safety is aviation’s highest priority. Failure to publish prompt and complete accident investigation reports deprives operators, equipment manufacturers, regulators, infrastructure providers, and other concerned stakeholders of critical information that could make flying even safer,” IATA says.
Five fatal accidents in 2022
In 2022, there were 39 accidents compared to 43 for the five-year average. There were five fatal accidents that resulted in the loss of life of 158 fatalities compared to 121 fatalities in 2021. The fatality risk was 0.11. “This 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 with an average of 22.116 years,” said Nick Careen.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), a system launched to improve global accident rates. “IOSA has improved safety, greatly and reduced redundant audits. It is used by many regulators to complement their safety programs. Last year, the IOSA airlines all-accident rate was four times better than the rate for non-IOSA airlines of 0.70 versus 2.82,” Careen said.
He added: “Since 2005, the all-accident rate for airlines on the IOSA registry is 1.40 per million sectors compared with 3.49 per million sectors for non-IOSA airlines. Similarly, the fatality rate is 0.11 compared with 0.62.” IATA continues to roll out IOSA and plans to do 25 risk-based audits this year and 100 in 2024.
Accident rates per region increased in Europe, Latin America, Northeast Asia, and Africa. Nowhere the rate was so has in Africa, where the high number of accidents with turboprops is to blame.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.