Table 3-4 Air Carrier Fatality and Injury Rates

Table 3-4
Air Carrier Fatality and Injury Rates

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  Canada Mexico United States
1990 through 1996 (cumulative) 1990 through 1996 (annual averages) 1993 through 1996 (cumulative) 1993 through 1996 (annual averages) 1990 through 1990 through 1996 (annual averages)
Air carrier fatal accidents 7 1 1 0.25 27 3.9
Air carrier fatalities 282 40 1 0.25 922 132
Air carrier injuries 11 1.6 2 0.5 231 33
Air carrier flight segments (thousands) 10,590 1,513 2,149 537 57,037 8,148
Rates per 100,000 flight segments            
Fatal   accident 0.066 (+0.031; -0.021)   0.047   0.047 (+0.010; -0.008)  
Fatality 2.66   0.047   1.62  
Injury 0.1   0.093   0.41  


All Countries

Data definitions: Data are based on fatalities and injuries occuring for domestic air carriers, scheduled and and nonscheduled operations, passenger and cargo operations, anywhere in the world. For explanations of the differences between this table and air data in Tables 3-1 and 3-2, see the individual country notes in Appendix B.

Cumulative data: Air carrier fatal accidents, fatalities and injuries have been summed over a number of years, as shown in Table 3-4. This is a departure from the other tables in this report, which present data for individual years. This has been done because fatal accidents involving commercial air carriers are rare. In particular, the extreme rarity of fatal accidents in which large numbers of people are killed causes large and unpredictable fluctuations in the number of fatalities from year to year. That is, the statistics for a single year reveal little about what to expect the next year; reveal little about whether air safety is getting better or worse compared to past years and reveal little about one country's safety record compared to another's. Only by adding up several years can these large random fluctuations be partly smoothed out. The fatal accident, fatality and injury ratesare thus averages over the multi-year periods shown in Table 3-4.

Standard deviation in the fatal accident and fatality rates; Canada and the United States: The Canadian and U.S. fatal accident rates are within about one standard deviation of each other. As discussed in Appendix B, the Canadian and U.S. fatality rates differ by less than one standard deviation. No statistically valid comparison can be made between rates if the standard deviation on the rates is not known. For more information on the standard deviations of the rates in this table, including estimates of standard deviations not presented in this table, see the discussion in Appendix B under All Countries.


Coverage: Data for air carrier fatal accidents, fatalities and injuries refer to all Canadian-registered airplanes used by Level I and Level II Canadian air operators that have a maximum take-off weight (MCTOW) of more than 8,618 kg (19,000 pounds) or for which a Canadian type certificate has been issued authorizing the transport of 20 or more passengers.

Flight operations: Data for air carrier flight operations refers to passenger and cargo flights of Canadian registered airplanes used by Level I and Level II and is obtained from two air carrier surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, namely: Major Scheduled Air Services Survey; and, Major Charter Air Services Survey. The data concerning cargo flight operations relate to only major scheduled and charter services, as regional and local scheduled carriers are not required to file cargo data. The Major Scheduled Air Survey conducted by Statistics Canada does not include air carriers which utilize aircraft under 13,607 kg (30,000 pounds). Similarly, the Major Charter Air Survey conducted by Statistics Canada does not include air carriers which utilize aircraft under 15,900 kg (35,000 pounds) domestically and internationally, and under 8,200 kg (18,080 pounds) on transborder journeys.

United States

Coverage: Data include only aircraft operating under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 121 (14 CFR 121); i.e., commercial aircraft that are operated by U.S. flag airlines and that have more than 30 seats or a maximum payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds (3,402 kg).

Fatalities: Includes the 12 people killed in 1991 aboard a commuter aircraft when it and a CFR 121 airliner collided.



Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Special tabulation. (Ottawa, Ont.: 1998). Transport Canada. Economic Analysis Directorate. (Ottawa, Ont.: 1998).


Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil. (Mexico City, D.F.: 1998). Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares. (Mexico City, D.F.: 1998).

United States

U.S. Department of Transportation. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. National Transportation Statistics 1998 and National Transportation Statistics 1999. (Washington, DC: 1998 and 1999).