• Statistics published by the Department for Transport (DfT) show aviation to be one of the safest modes of transport, with large passenger aeroplanes being the safest mode of transport in the ten-year period to 2015. The safety performance of large commercial aeroplanes varies across the world, but UK airspace and UK airlines are among the safest and its fatal accident rate one of the lowest. This  reflects our commitment to protect those who choose to fly and those who do not, and to meet, maintain and improve the high safety standards in aviation. The last fatal accident involving a large UK passenger aeroplane in the UK was in 1989. Outside the UK, it was in 1999.

    The safety record for commercial aviation is generally better than that of non-commercial aviation. This is particularly true for private flying which is subject to a more proportionate level of regulation and oversight based on the fact that it is for personal transport, recreation or sporting activity. In General Aviation (which includes private flying for personal transport, recreation or sport) there have been an average of 16 fatal accidents per annum since 1999.

    Fatality rate per billion passenger kilometres by mode: 2006 to 2015

     Motorcycles   83.39
     Pedestrian  26.42 
     Pedal cycle  24.02
     Car  1.58 
     Water  0.57 
     Van  0.43 
     Bus or coach  0.23 
     Rail  0.01
     Air  0.00


    Sources: Non-aviation data DfT. Aviation data UK CAA