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2017 was the safest year in aviation history

January 4, 2018 GMT

Are you afraid of flying? Do you ever get butterflies during turbulence? Have you had to muster a dose of courage just to peer out the window and over the wing?

If so, this editorial is for you. Even if not, it’s still for you. That’s because 2017 was the safest year in aviation history. There wasn’t one fatal passenger jet airliner crash anywhere in the world last year.

That’s amazing. Almost as amazing as traveling at high speeds in a relatively small tube 40,000 feet above the planet.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, there were a total of 10 fatal commercial airline crashes, killing 44 flight occupants and 35 people on the ground. Five of these crashes involved cargo flights, and the balance were propeller-powered planes. These numbers exclude military aircraft.

All told, there were nearly 37 million flights in 2017, or one fatal accident per 7.4 million flights. Like we said, amazing.

Also amazing, airline safety in the U.S. The last fatal crash involving an airline passenger jet was in 2009.

Airline fatalities have been steadily decreasing since the late 1990s, largely due to improved technology and the lobbying of various aviation organizations, including the Aviation Safety Network.

For those fearful fliers, the good news is there may be no safer place than up in the sky.

Unfortunately, though, it’s still not very comfortable. In fact, it seems to get less and less comfortable as time goes on. But that’s an editorial for another day.

May 2018 be even safer for passengers everywhere.