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We already know air travel in the U.S. is safe—three of the past four years, including 2010—saw zero airline-related fatalities—but that success rate isn't limited just to the States. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 2010 was the safest year ever for western-built aircraft.
"The 2010 global accident rate (measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jet aircraft) was 0.61," the IATA said in a statement. "That is equal to one accident for every 1.6 million flights. This is a significant improvement of the 0.71 rate recorded in 2009 (one accident for 1.4 million flights).
"The 2010 rate was the lowest in aviation history ... Compared to 10 years ago, the accident rate has been cut 42% from the rate recorded in 2001."
The IATA describes "hull loss" as "an accident in which the aircraft is destroyed or substantially damaged and is not subsequently repaired."
The last fatal accident was the crash of Colgan Flight 3407 outside Buffalo in February, 2009. The average aviation-related deaths per year in the U.S. has dropped nearly 50 percent since the 1990s. According to the IATA, in 2010, "North America, Europe, and North Asia performed better than the global average of 0.61" hull losses per million.
Readers, do you feel air travel has gotten safer?