The International Civil Aviation Organization’s 2013 annual safety report on commercial aviation concludes that although Africa accounts for only 5 percent of accidents recorded last year, that region’s accidents account for 45 percent of the fatalities, more than any other area ICAO reviewed.
In 2012, five accidents in Africa claimed 167 lives. In Asia, also a focal point for safety concerns, 23 accidents claimed 161 lives.
Worldwide, ICAO says loss of control in flight (LOC-I) accidents still produce the greatest number of fatalities, while runway safety issues, such as incursions, produce more fatalities on the ground. Using the “harmonized accident rate” that ICAO helped develop in 2010, the UN-backed body says the 2012 rate stood at 2.4 accidents per million departures, down significantly from the approximately four accidents per million during the 2006-2011 period. The trend in total aviation fatalities worldwide is headed downward, to just fewer than 400 last year from approximately 800 in 2006.
The ICAO report claims that recurrent simulator training has not evolved at the same rate as aircraft technology and remains essentially unchanged in a generation of highly sophisticated fly-by-wire aircraft.