• The UK has one of the world’s largest aviation industries. In 2017, UK airlines flew nearly 1.3 million flights carrying over 162 million passengers with our airspace system handling over 2.45 million flights. We also have an extensive general aviation community which includes private flying, microlights and balloons. All have an excellent aviation safety record. One reason for this is the open reporting of incidents. Known in the aviation industry as occurrences, these cover virtually any kind of safety related incident and are reported to the CAA on a daily basis. They can range from an overheating oven in an aircraft cabin to an aircraft accident. The majority of serious incidents and accidents are reported by General Aviation or other non-commercial areas of the aviation community. Reports primarily cover the UK industry but do include UK-registered aircraft operating outside the UK. The reports are shared extensively in the aviation industry which allow the CAA and others to analyse trends so that we and others can take action to prevent further occurrences.

    By establishing and maintaining safety partnerships with other nations, we have contributed to the improvement of the safety performance of non-UK operators in UK airspace and maintained or improved the safety of UK citizens and UK operators flying overseas.

    The data on these pages provides a summary of the occurrences reported, with more detail on some specific areas.

    If you are involved in aviation there are many avenues for you to make reports to enhance safety. Details of each are available on our reports and complaints pages.

    The year in brief

    Reported occurrences involving UK aviation

    • More than 90% of the 32,229 occurrences presented low or medium severity. 
    • We believe this illustrates a strong safety reporting culture and is a positive result of the implementation of the safety reporting regulation
    • 61% of the occurrences took place in the UK
    • 84% involved G-registered aircraft
    • 31% occurrences with G-registered aircraft operating overseas
    • 372 accidents, serious incidents or high severity occurrences
    • 16 fatal accidents - all General Aviation aircraft
    • 27 fatalities - all General Aviation aircraft

    There were no fatalities or serious injuries involving commercial air transport.