The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has released its 2023 Annual Safety Review (ASR), with a warning that while the skies of Europe are increasingly safe, there are still 12-13 fatal commercial air accidents per year.

EASA findings

Writing in the report, the executive director, Patrick Ky, said: “It brings me immense satisfaction to recognise that there have been no major accidents involving European operators for many years, and the safety record of aviation continues to be exemplary.

“Such performance is the result of the collective efforts of all stakeholders who have embraced safety leadership and upheld the highest standards of operational excellence.

“However, the absence of major accidents in Europe should not blind us to possible threats. We were fortunate that last summer’s difficult operating situation did not lead to safety issues. On the global scale, we are regrettably still seeing around 12-13 fatal commercial air accidents per year.”

Safety performance of the European aviation system

The 2023 edition looks at the safety performance of the European aviation system in 2022. This, and other analyses carried out by EASA in collaboration with the National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) and industry is used to support the decision-making that is reflected in the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS).

Where risks are identified, further analysis is performed and when needed, mitigation actions are included in the EPAS.

Last year, the world, and air transport, began its journey to recovery after the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic. Traffic levels are at around 93% of the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019, a “remarkable resurgence” which EASA said was testament to the resilience and adaptability of the aviation industry.

Ky added: “We must also recognise that the aviation landscape is ever-changing and that new challenges continue to emerge. Hazards such as cyber-security vulnerabilities, war at the borders of the European Union, the entry of new operators, as well as rapid advancements in technology all demand our focused attention.”
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