Airline Safety Improves Worldwide, Except For...

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that as of November, "global safety performance is at the best-ever level recorded," with one notable exception. According to IATA, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States have seen their accident rate increase by 55 percent, year over year. That contrasts with global accident rates that are (so far this year) 22 percent better than last year. According to IATA, there were 75 accidents from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2011. That compares with 92 for the same period during 2010. The association says changes that have swept through other improved regions are coming to Russia.

Worldwide, carriers that participate in the IATA Operational Safety Audit program have a significantly lower accident rate than those that don't. In Russia, aviation authorities have agreed to require IOSA participation in 2012. IOSA-registered carriers make up more than one-fifth of all commercial carriers worldwide, according to IATA. The organization says that accident rates have improved through the Middle East, North Africa, Asia Pacific and Africa. Rates in North America stayed level. IATA's Operational Safety Audit is an evaluation system that assesses the management and control systems of an airline. It uses standardized quality audits to achieve a quality audit program under stewardship of IATA.