Michelle Chance, Julija Kaselyte
Aviation tragedies around the world this year have raised concerns over passenger safety.
However, despite incidents like the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the controversy over the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 earlier this year, experts and passengers alike claim international air travel is still safe.
Perry Flint, Head of Corporate Communications for the International Air Transport Association, said that air traffic safety is the top priority of the aviation industry.
“The recent aviation tragedies, happening in quick succession, understandably have caused some people to ask questions about aviation safety,” Flint said. “Every accident is one too many, but flying remains safe.”
Although the airline industry has experienced highly publicized air travel incidents this year, Flint cites statistics which provide a different perspective.
“Almost 100,000 flights carrying approximately 9 million passengers take off every day and land without incident,” Flint said. “In 2013, the industry experienced 16 fatal accidents out of 36.4 million flights.”
According to a 2014 report published by the International Aviation Safety Assessment Program (IASA), nine countries do not meet Federal Aviation Association (FAA) flight standards and are further identified as a
“Category 2” by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Countries that do not meet safety standards are: Bangladesh, Barbados, Curacao, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Sint Maarten, and Uruguay.
“The extraordinary safety performance of commercial air transport is in large part owing to the strong spirit of cooperation on safety-related issues among airlines, manufacturers, government regulators and other stakeholders,” Flint said.
Frequent flier, Zach Kahlich travels abroad five to six times a year for his work mixing front of house audio for several different rock bands. Kahlich said he does not fear for his safety while flying.
“I don’t take any extra precautions to keep myself from harm or physical danger in my travels that I can think of,” Kahlich said. “I’ve never been in a situation outside the US were I felt that I could be harmed.”
Kahlich has traveled to many countries including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, England and Wales.
“I suppose the only places I would refuse to fly to would be warzone type situations for obvious reasons. Other than that if there is snow I probably don’t want to fly there either,” Kahlich said.
Duncan Johnson, tour manager for various musical acts, frequently travels abroad by plane to Europe, Malaysia and Australia.
While traveling, Johnson said he does not fear flying to other countries because he is always surrounded with friends and colleagues.
“I’m always down for an adventure. I mostly fly with a group so I know I’ll have company around me if anything is fishy,” Johnson said.
As an experienced flier, Johnson said the benefits of flying regularly are collecting sky miles, getting upgraded seating and visiting new cities and countries.
However, traveling so often also has its disadvantages, according to Johnson.
“I really don’t enjoy long flights, turbulence, middle seats and unseasoned travelers,” Johnson said.
Kahlich recommends that fellow travelers educate themselves on the places they are visiting, and to be aware of certain dangers and practical matters relating to their travels.
“I would say to ensure you have a good traveling experience you should do as much research on your destination as possible before going,” Kahlich said.