Forewords

Find out what our Safety team say about aviation's safety performance.

Nick Careen

Senior Vice President Operations, Safety and Security

Mark Searle

Director Safety, Operations, Safety and Security

Capt. Ruben Morales

Chair, IATA Accident Classification Task Force

Executive Summary

Download the full 2022 IATA Annual Safety Report executive summary (pdf)

Last year saw a surge in air travel compared to 2021 as most governments lifted or eased COVID-19 related travel restrictions. Just over 32 million flights were operated in 2022, an increase of 25% compared to 2021, but still 31% below the 2019 figure.

The commercial aviation industry suffered 39 total accidents in 2022, an increase from 29 in 2021. The all accident rate rose from 1.13 per million sectors in 2021 to 1.21 in 2022. Overall, there was one accident for every 826,088 flights. This means that a person taking one flight every day, would need to fly for 2,263 years before experiencing an accident. 

Fatal Accidents

Five accidents in 2022 resulted in fatalities, compared with seven in 2021. As a result, the fatal accident rate improved from 0.27 per million sectors in 2021 to 0.16 for 2022, which was also ahead of the 5-year fatal accident rate of 0.20. Despite the reduction in the number of fatal accidents, the number of fatalities rose from 121 to 158.

The majority of fatalities occurred in a single aircraft accident in China that claimed the lives of 132 persons. The next largest loss of life occurred in an accident in Tanzania that resulted in 19 fatalities.

In three of the accidents, fatalities did not occur to passengers and crew, but rather to persons on the ground.

  • In an accident at Conakry airport, Guinea, a motorcycle entered the runway as the aircraft was landing and collided with the aircraft. Both people on the motorcycle died.
  • In another accident, a fire vehicle entered the runway at Lima Airport in Peru as an aircraft was taking off, resulting in the deaths of two firefighters who were on the fire vehicle. 
  • A third accident occurred in Montgomery, AL, USA, when an airline ground worker was ingested into the engine of an aircraft shortly after the aircraft arrived at the gate but before both engines were shut down.

Of the 39 aircraft accidents in 2022, IATA member airlines had 10 non-fatal and one fatal accident. IATA member airlines continued to trend lower than the industry at 0.49 accidents per million sectors versus 1.21 per million sectors for the industry as a whole– a pattern also reflected in the five-year average rate (2018-2022) of [0.76 for IATA members vs. 1.26 for industry]

10 Year Accident Data

Taking a longer-term view, the industry has improved its overall safety performance over the last ten years by 48%, with an accident rate in 2022 of 1.21 accidents per million sectors, compared to 2.31 in 2013. In 2013, there were 11 fatal accidents that resulted in 173 fatalities. Over the past five years, there have been an average of about seven fatal accidents per year for commercial aircraft (passengers and cargo) resulting in an annual average of 231 fatalities. IATA continues its focus on supporting aviation stakeholders to continuously reduce the industry fatality risk.

Accident Categories

The accident categories in 2022 listed in order of the number of fatalities (with the number of accidents in brackets) were:

  • Other End State (3) with 138 fatalities
  • Off Runway Touchdown (1) with 19 fatalities
  • Runway Excursions (1) with one fatality

The accident categories in 2022 listed by the frequency of nonfatal accidents were:

  • Landing Gear (8)
  • Hard Landing (1)
  • Runway Excursion (6)
  • Off Runway Touchdown (1)
  • Tail Strike (6)
  • Loss of Control — In-flight (1)
  • Ground Damage (3)
  • Off-Airport Landing/Ditching (1)
  • In-flight Damage (3)
  • Mid-Air Collision (0)
  • Runway Damage (2)
  • Fuel Exhaustion (0)
  • Other End State (2)
  • Controlled Flight into Terrain (0)

Regional Overview

When considering accidents per region:

  • Africa (AFI) had the highest accident rate with 8.70 accidents per million sectors in 2022. This was up from 5.66 per million sectors in 2021, and was also above the 5-year average of 5.68 accidents per million sectors; followed by Latin America & the Caribbean (LATAM/CAR) with 4.07 accidents per million sectors.
  • The LATAM/CAR accident rate of 4.07 rose from 1.06 accidents per million sectors in 2021, and was also above the 5-year average of 2.24 accidents per million sectors.
  • The industry witnessed a 50% reduction in the number of accidents involving Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) operators, from 4 accidents in 2021 to 2 in 2022, neither of which involved fatalities. The region experienced 3 fatal accidents in 2021. The fatality risk improved to 0.00 from 2.29 in 2021.
  • Operators in three regions: LATAM/CAR, AFI, and North Asia (NASIA) suffered fatal accidents in 2022, one of which involved jet aircraft (NASIA) and 4 of which involved turboprops.
  • The jet fatality risk for NASIA operators went from 0.00 in 2021, to 0.23 in 2022. The turboprop fatality risk for LATAM/CAR went up from 0.00 in 2021, to 0.17 in 2022. AFI operators saw an improvement in the turboprop fatality risk from 7.15 in 2021, to 5.74 in 2022.
  • 77% of the commercial air transport accidents in 2022 involved passenger flights.
  • IATA membership and IOSA accreditation vs. non-IATA members and Non-IOSA Carriers continued a strong correlation with improved safety performance. The accident rate for IOSA-registered carriers in 2022 was lower than the rate for non- IOSA carriers. (0.70 vs 2.82).
  • The jet hull loss rate per million sectors in 2022 was 0.17 vs 0.13 in 2021. Middle East and North African (MENA) operators have not reported a jet hull loss accident since 2015.
  • The turboprop hull loss rate per million sectors in 2022 was 1.47 vs. 1.77 in 2021. European (EUR) and NASIA operators reported zero turboprop hull loss accidents since 2014 and 2015, respectively.
  • The turboprop hull loss accident rate per million sectors for CIS in 2022 was zero vs. 42.53 in 2021.

Contributing Factors

When considering Threat and Errors Management, the most common factors cited in 2022 accidents were:

  • Adverse weather condition was a contributing factor in 31% of these accidents. The weather condition most often cited as a contributing factor (18% of the accidents) was wind/wind shear/gusty wind and thunderstorm.
  • Aircraft malfunction was cited in 21% of the accidents.
  • Failure in the landing gear/tire was cited in 15% of the accidents.
  • Non-Compliance to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) was a contributing factor in 26% of accidents, followed by manual handling and flight control errors in 21% of the accidents
  • Abrupt Aircraft Control and Vertical, Lateral or Speed Deviations were contributing factors in 15% of the accidents, followed by Unstable Approaches and long landing in 13% of the accidents.
  • Lack of or inadequate management decisions, including regulatory decisions, were a contributing factor in 10% of the accidents and deficiencies in maintenance operations was also cited in 10% of the accidents.
  • Overall crew performance and lack of monitoring and crossing checking, were contributing factors in 13% of the accidents. In flight Decision making was a contributing factor in 11% of the accidents.