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One fatal crash a week by 2030, says aviation expert

Regional airlines recently suspended flights to Baghdad following the shooting at a flydubai airplane in Iraq and amid conflict in the wider region.
The wreckage of passenger plane flight MH17, which was shot down in July 2014.
The wreckage of passenger plane flight MH17, which was shot down in July 2014.

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If the aviation industry does not act to reduce the current air accident rate, one fatal crash per week is 'inevitable' by 2030, given predicted traffic growth, warns Cengiz Turkoglu, chairman of the technical committee, International Federation of Airworthiness.

His comments come ahead of the World Aviation Safety Summit, which takes place in Dubai this year and will discuss the risks of flying over conflict zones continue across the Middle East.

In a statement from the summit, which will run from 16-17 March, Turkoglu said: "Growing commercial air transport is fuelling economic growth in many countries and the only way to sustain this growth is to continue maintaining public confidence in the system.

"The commercial aviation accident rate has decreased significantly over the decades and the commercial air transport system has become ultra-safe.

"However, if further reduction in accident rate cannot be achieved in the coming years, by 2030, the predicted traffic growth will inevitably generate one fatal accident per week.”

Regional airlines recently suspended flights to Baghdad following the shooting at a flydubai airplane in Iraq.

Aviation experts at the World Aviation Safety Summit, now in its third year, will explore how a rising set of threats and challenges for global civil aviation should be handled.

Shortly after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) IATA jointly set up a task force to study what information airlines should be receiving from governments when flying over or near known conflict zones.

IATA has said that gaps exist in global aviation security and airlines require state-level intelligence to decide when and where aircraft should not be flying.

Mohammed Eturki, executive director group safety and quality from FlyNas, said: “We long for the support of the international community and ICAO member states with conflict-striken territories to take proactive actions and impose no-fly zones above their conflict areas.

“Their air traffic controllers (ATC) should ban flying over such dangerous zones as well as set up alternative routes to support continued safe flying.

"There is an urgent need for the aviation community to cooperate in the sharing of information about dangerous flying zones through a well-organised system.”

Captain Elias Sadek, vice president for safety and quality at EgyptAir Holding Company, will speak at the summit and commented: “Collecting and disseminating clear, accurate and timely information about conflict zones is critical to the safety of civil aircraft.

“A wealth of important data is available – what’s lacking in the industry is the efficient exchange of useful information. A centralised global intelligence system must be set up to provide airlines with clear guidance on the threats to their passengers, crew and aircraft.” 

Held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports, chairman and chief executive officer of The Emirates Group, the summit will be hosted by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and organised by the Streamline Marketing Group.

The two-day summit is expected to attract more than 300 regional and international stakeholders from regulatory authorities, airline operators, airport operators, aircraft manufactures, pilot associations, safety organisations and air traffic control service providers to explore a range of aviation safety topics at panel discussions, strategy sessions and group discussions.

Experts will also share regional case studies on how the challenges of integrating and implementing new and existing safety procedures can be overcome.

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