Is Air Travel Safe?

By Michelle Seiler-Tucker, Special for USDR

Contact with an Air Asia plane was lost approximately an hour after departure over the weekend, somewhere over the Java Sea. With 162 people on board, the incident occurred just a few minutes after the pilot requested to fly higher to avoid severe weather, but was denied due to another airplane already flying at that altitude. Even before the Indonesia Air Asia flight with 162 people on board went missing, the year 2014 has seemed ominous for air transportation disasters. Despite this insinuation, data shows that some 762 people had lost their lives in seven fatal accidents this year, more than 1,000 lost their lives in 2005 ultimately proving that aviation is still the safest route to travel by. Even better, experts say that the industry’s underlying safety record is actually improving. The statistics underscore a year of tragic contrasts dominated by two Malaysian catastrophes and a handful of weather-related incidents, yet a record-low number of crashes.

It’s amazing what the generalizations of fears can do to transform a falsity into a general assumption by the masses. In my business, I commonly deal with many first time buyers of preexisting businesses who always assume the worst—It’s going to be way too expensive to afford to purchase, when in fact it is quite the contrary! I help buyers put little to no money down when they are attempting to purchase the company of their dreams. And while it is so unfortunate that the dreams of 162 on board that fateful Air Asia flight may never be fulfilled, the International Air Transport Association, which represents about 250 airlines, said earlier this month that 2014 was among the safest when measured against the volume of traffic.

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