Skip to main content

New Aviation Safety Risks

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson issued a warning about new safety risks facing the aviation industry in a post-COVID-19 world.  The global pandemic has turned air travel upside down. 

“The industry that existed last March in many respects no longer exists today,” Dickson said at a town hall meeting about commercial aviation safety, citing the retirement of veteran pilots, new fleets with complex aircraft, and less international flying.

“All these changes are creating a whole new set of stressors that can inject new safety risks into the system,” he said.

Even though the risk of a fatal U.S. commercial aviation accident has dropped by 94 percent since 1997 because of aviation safety enhancements, Dickson said the industry must proactively curb new safety risks by understanding the pandemic’s impact.

He mentioned added training and enhanced industry oversight as possible measures.

“COVID-19 has created a tremendous amount of disruption and change in our system with breathtaking speed,” he said.

Airlines have parked their aircraft and reduced their workforce, mostly through early retirement programs, as they weather a sharp downturn in demand due to the pandemic.