Air Safety Facts and MH370

  • Mar 23, 2014 9:58am GMT

As we stretch into the third week of searching for the missing Boeing 777 and several theories and speculations emerge, the question of the safety of flying is being brought up. As a dispatcher and frequent flier, I find myself at an airport at least twice a week. Lately, when I’m either waiting in the TSA line or sitting at the gate, I can overhear jokes, actual concerns or even passengers that have to take "sedatives" just to survive the trip. Now I get and understand those nervous fliers (I was once that way myself); but for those that questioning how safe air travel is, let me reassure you it’s quite safe.

When debating this with my friends, they often state, “Well if it's not that much of an issue, why have I heard about all these accidents lately?” With my rebuttal, “That’s because the media publishes stories that don’t happen everyday.” I like to compare it to auto accidents. Auto accidents happen everyday yet CNN isn't headlining them.

According to the National Safety Council, the odds of dying in a car crash are more than 70 times greater than the odds of dying on a commercial airliner. To further compare these odds, this is saying that you are as likely to die on a commercial airliner as you are to die in an elevator; there’s a chance, however slim.

For those of you that like hard facts, in May 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated 34,080 people died in motor-vehicles crashes, whereas commercial aviation had only 0.07 fatalities per billion passenger miles, 1 in 85,000 if you flew every day for a year.

For those of you that have a fear of flying still, I included a handy video to hopefully help cope with that fear.