EUROSTAT: 112 People Died in Air Traffic-Related Fatalities in 2020

The European statistics provider EUROSTAT revealed that 112 people died in air traffic accidents in 2020, marking a 31 per cent decrease compared to 2019 when 176 fatalities were recorded, reports.

EUROSTAT further revealed that similar to the 2016-2020 period, 91 per cent or 111 deaths registered as air accidents for 2020 involved general aviation, which contains aircraft with a maximum take-off (MTOM) of less than 2250 kg. This sub-category includes small aeroplanes, gliders, ’microlights’, as well as hot air balloons.

Moreover, data shows that 73 per cent of deaths in the category of under 2250 kg aircraft were registered in the following countries:

  • France (37 fatalities)
  • Germany (29 fatalities)
  • Italy (nine fatalities)
  • Poland (six fatalities)

Furthermore, the following category with most deaths (five) includes aerial work related to aircraft operation for specific services such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, search and rescue.

In other words, general aviation (aeroplanes and helicopters) consists of all civil aviation operations other than commercial air transport and specific types of aerial work operations. General aviation comprises two sub-categories: operations with aircraft with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) above 2 250 kg and below 2,250 kg.

More specifically, below 2,250 kg sub-category, including small aeroplanes, airships, para- and motor-gliders, ‘microlights’, small helicopters and hot air balloons, recorded the highest fatalities (91 per cent of all deaths in air accidents). In most years, deaths recorded in aviation transport were registered in this category, except for 2015, when a high number of fatalities were evident in commercial air transport due to the crash of a German aircraft in the French Alps, where 150 people died.

In 2020, three fatalities were registered in general aviation accidents involving EU-registered aircraft with an MTOM above 2,250 kg; this is mildly above 2019 when one death was reported. Since 2006, fewer than ten fatalities were registered annually from accidents on the EU territory involving such large aircraft registered in the EU. This further peaked in 2013, where nine deaths were registered in air traffic accidents.

Moreover, the data shows that any deaths weren’t recorded in the aviation accidents inventory for 2016-2020 for the general aviation category in countries like Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Malta and Luxembourg. Four fatalities were registered in Ireland, Greece and Finland. Countries with the highest fatalities, besides those mentioned earlier, include Czechia (28 fatalities), Spain (57 fatalities), Hungary (21) and the Netherlands (15).

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