Midweek summary: Airport landings and Virgin Atlantic

By Tom Aloulis, Infobae


The numbers speak for themselves. Airplane landings are on the decline across the world.

There are 11,000 fewer aircraft in commercial service on six of the world’s largest five continents than there were 20 years ago.

And only 17% of US aircraft land at the International Space Station.

That’s according to one of the world’s leading aviation observers, Erik Roner from Aviation Week, who is currently in the midst of a one-month aircraft flight across the globe.

During his time in orbit, it seems Mr Roner has been trying to make connections.

Confronted by the falling numbers, he decided to analyse flight records to glean data for a global analysis of near-miss incidents, side impacts and severe turbulence, producing the International Aviation Safety Report (IASR).

Mr Roner has produced other aviation reports, such as the 2007-8IASR, which was considered to be one of the world’s most thorough collection of statistics on the commercial aircraft, and the 2011-12IASR.

In case you’re wondering, the report did not disclose the number of near-miss incidents.

Although the IASR might be “a highly thorough, mathematical and technical exercise”, says Brian Turner, a senior analyst at Ascend, the commercial aviation consultants, the actual data is not really worth much to an average traveller, which might explain the drop in the reported incidents.

Rather, there is an increasing struggle to see how much of the numbers are really true, rather than a mirage.

The reduction in air traffic numbers may or may not be real.

But the trend at last can be seen across the globe, with 37% of A320 aircraft in service worldwide falling to 1000th hour and there are fewer Boeing 737s flying across the Atlantic.

The IASR might not exactly give consumers hard data about safety. But it does give them a window into a new world of statistics.

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