​​​2020 Aviation Safety Statistics (Source: NTSB)​

U.S. Civil Aviation Fatalities and Flight Activity Decreased in 2020

11/17/2021

​​WASHINGTON (Nov. 17, 2021) — U.S. civil aviation fatalities decreased last year amid broad reductions in flight activity, according to 2020 statistics published by the National Transportation Safety Board.

After two consecutive years with airline passenger fatalities, there were no fatal accidents involving Part 121 air carriers in 2020. In seven of the last 10 years, there have been no airline passenger fatalities.

Most aviation deaths in 2020 took place during general aviation operations, where 332 were killed, compared to 414 the year before. The 2020 fatal accident rate in general aviation was 1.049 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, compared to 2019’s rate of 1.064.

Accidents in On-Demand Part 135 operations, which encompass charters, air taxis, air tours and medical services (when a patient is on board), claimed 21 lives in 2020, down from 32 in 2019. 

​Compared to 2019, flight activity in 2020 decreased across all segments of U.S. civil aviation:

  • U.S. air carrier operations decreased by 55 percent, from about 19.8 to 8.9 million flight hours
  • Part 135 commuter operations decreased by 46 percent, from about 417,000 to 225,000 flight hours
  • Part 135 on-demand operations decreased by 19 percent, from about 3.8 to 3.0 million flight hours
  • General aviation operations decreased by 11 percent, from about 21.8 to 19.5 million flight hours

The 2020 statistics include investigations that are still ongoing, so they do not detail potential reasons for the accidents and fatalities in U.S. aviation. The NTSB also publishes an Annual Summary of U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents that includes additional information from completed investigations. The NTSB will release its 2019 Annual Summary in December, and it continues to address civil aviation safety in all operations, including highlighting safety issues on its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. 

The 2020 statistics are available at https://go.usa.gov/xe9Xx​

To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).

To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).


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