safety

Date:         12 Dec 96 03:49:24 
From:         Andrew Weir <100637.616@CompuServe.COM>
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I read that the current accident rate has stabilised, and that traffic is
expected to increase at about 6-7 per cent a year. I have heard that at
the ISASI conference in Dubai recently this was raised as a concern. The
concern, apparently, is that although the accident rate is stable, and
thus the risk to the individual the same, any increase in traffic means
an increase in the total number of accidents. One prediction is that in
15 years time, given the current accident rate and that predicted traffic
increase, there will be a major air catastrophe every week, on average.
Despite the risk being unchanged, the threat is that the news media will
be so full of horrendous scenes of aviation destruction that the perception
of risk in the travelling public will increase dramatically, leading people
to seek alternative means of travel, or simply not travelling.

Question: Does anyone know of any strategies being mounted by anybody in
the aviation safety business, or the industry as a whole, to deal with
the problem?

It seems to me, as a result, and I would be glad to be corrected if in
error, that if the accident rate is to continue to fall, aviation
regulators may have to be much tougher, and may have to insist on all
those myriad recommendations made by investigators over the years that
have not been acted upon, e.g.  rear-facing seats, full cargo hold fire
detection, smoke hoods, cabin and/or cargo hold fire suppression systems,
greater impact friendliness of the airframe, and much more efficient
incident reporting.