Safety of commercial air transport

A good safety performance was achieved in Finnish commercial air transport in 2019. There were no accidents. The number of serious incidents (10) was slightly lower than in the year before (12) but remained considerably higher than the longer-term average (6 in 2013-2018). Serious Airprox incidents, five of which occurred in drone operations in the spring, increased the number of serious incidents. Regardless of the increased volume of drone operations, however, this figure went down by one compared to 2018.

Overview

In the light of tier 2 indicators (the most typical causal factors of accidents), the great number of Airprox incidents is significant.

Globally, 20 fatal accidents occurred in commercial air transport in 2019 (aircraft types registered for 14 or more passengers), which led to the loss of 283 lives in total. Of these accidents, 14 occurred in passenger traffic (of which seven in scheduled passenger traffic) and six in cargo operations. While the number of fatal accidents was considerably higher than the five-year average (14) last year, the number of fatalities (480) was below the five-year average. As a whole, 2019 was one of the safest years in aviation.

While the greatest number of accidents occurred in North America, most of the fatalities resulted from four accidents in Africa and Russia. The estimated number of flights in 2019 was approx. 39 million. In proportion to this figure, one fatality occurred per 2 million flights. Source: Aviation Safety Network (Ulkoinen linkki)

Accidents

No accidents in Finland, or involving Finnish aircraft, occurred in commercial air traffic in 2019.

To browse accident statistics starting from 2005 (in Finnish), visit here (Ulkoinen linkki).

Isolated events classified as accidents have occurred in connection with sight-seeing flights, business aviation and cargo operations, but accidents involving Finnish aircraft in scheduled traffic are extremely rare.

The accidents and serious incidents are examined annually in proportion to information on hours flown collected from the owners of Finnish aircraft. The statistics on hours flown in 2019 will be completed in spring 2020.
The statistics on hours flown in 2018 were completed in spring 2019 and can be accessed here. An initial estimate indicates that the number of hours flown will remain more or less the same in 2019.

In 2018, the hours flown in Finnish commercial air transport amounted to 281,749. The imputed number of accidents in 2006-2018 would be approx. 0.01 accidents per 10,000 hours flown. If we deduct from this figure all accidents not having occurred in scheduled traffic, the imputed probability of an accident is even smaller.

Accidents and fatalities in commercial air transport 2004-2019

Accidents in commercial air transport per 10 000 flight hours 2004-2019

Fatalities in commercial air transport per 10 000 flight hours 2004-2019

Serious incidents

In 2019, there were 10 serious incidents. This is less than in 2018 (12) but still considerably more than the average for 2013-2018 (6).

The number of serious incidents was increased by five serious Airprox incidents caused by drones in the vicinity of Helsinki-Vantaa airport in the spring. However, this number went down by one compared to the year before. As serious incidents were classified cases where a drone was so close to an aircraft that a collision was only avoided by good fortune.

A foreign aircraft engaged in commercial air transport was a party to one serious incident during the year, as a Latvian scheduled flight was involved in a runway excursion in Savonlinna. The Safety Investigation Authority published a report on this incident in December.

To browse statistics on serious incidents starting from 2005 (in Finnish), visit here (Ulkoinen linkki).

There were approx. 0.43 serious incidents per 10,000 hours flown in 2018. This figure is significantly higher than the average for 2006-2017, which was 0.26 per 10,000 hours flown.
An initial estimate indicates that the number of hours flown will remain more or less the same in 2019, which means that the number of serious incidents would be approx. 0.34 per 10,000 hours flown.

 

Serious incidents in commercial air transport 2004-2019

Serious incidents in commercial air transport per 10 000 flight hours

Serious incidents in commercial air transport per 100 000 flight hours, 5 year average