Trump Takes Credit For Airline Safety Record
“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation,” President Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Good news - it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!” The Hill contacted the president’s press office, asking exactly what steps the president had taken to improve airline safety. “President Trump raised the bar for our nation’s aviation safety and security,” White House spokesman Raj Shah responded. “The president is pleased there were no commercial airline deaths in 2017, and hopes this remains consistent in 2018 and beyond.” The last fatal crash involving a commercial aircraft in the U.S. was the Colgan Air crash in 2009.
Last year was the safest year ever for commercial aviation, worldwide, according to statistics compiled by a Dutch affiliate of the U.S.-based nonprofit Flight Safety Foundation. No one died in a commercial passenger jet crash anywhere in the world. (The data excludes cargo flights, military transports and accidents caused by intentional acts.) The safety record is “the culmination of decades of work by thousands of people,” industry consultant John Cox, a former airline captain and accident investigator, told The Wall Street Journal. According to The Atlantic, “The president’s claim can’t withstand even slight scrutiny…. Changes in statistics like air safety are achieved over long time scales, and given the small number of crashes involved, minor deviations in the number are unlikely attributable to any specific presidential action—especially one taken in the just under a year Trump has been in office.”