Growth in air traffic over the next 10 years?

From:         Pete Mellor <>
Date:         03 Nov 96 19:56:59 
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I have heard it said (from several sources, none of which I can remember)
that a 10-fold increase in air traffic is expected by the year 2006.

This is causing concern to operators and manufacturers of aircraft,
since, assuming the same accident rate (currently around 2 per million
departures for all types of accident involving death or serious injury,
and around 1.5 per million departures for hull loss accidents, on
scheduled passenger flights) this will lead to several serious air
accidents being reported every week, so greatly increasing the publicly
perceived risk of air travel.

I have a copy of the "Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Aircraft
Accidents, Worldwide Operations, 1959-1995" from Boeing Commercial
Airplane Group. The graph of annual departures does not bear out the
suggested increase.

Following a sharp growth from 1965 (2 million departures) to 1970
(7 million), the growth has been more or less steady and linear
(1980 - 10 million, 1985 - 11 million, 1990 - 12.5 million,
1995 - 15.4 million). There does seem to be an upward trend in the
rate of growth over 1990-1995, but nothing that could be extrapolated
into a 10-fold increase.

Would anyone like to confirm, refute, or otherwise comment on, these

Peter Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability, City University, Northampton
Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK. Tel: +44 (171) 477-8422, Fax: +44 (171) 477-8585