Airline Safety

May 15, 2015 • Volume 25, Issue 19
Do recent disasters point to deeper industry problems?
By Daniel McGlynn


A pro-Russian militant stands at the site (AFP/Getty Images/Dominique Faget)
A pro-Russian militant stands at the site of the July 17, 2014, crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The jetliner apparently was shot down during a routine flight over war-torn Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 people aboard. Pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government officials blamed each other for the crash. The episode has spurred demands for new rules for airlines that fly over war zones. (AFP/Getty Images/Dominique Faget)

A series of high-profile crashes has sparked new concerns about airline safety. The disasters include this year's apparently deliberate crash of a Germanwings jetliner in Europe by a troubled co-pilot, the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner over war-torn Ukraine last July and the disappearance of another Malaysia Airlines plane on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. Those and other incidents, coupled with increasingly crowded skies and airports stemming from growing worldwide passenger demand, are prompting airline regulators and operators to look for new ways to make aviation safer and more efficient. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is undertaking a $40 billion project aimed at converting U.S. air traffic control to a satellite-based communication and navigation system, but the project has run into delays and cost overruns and raised questions about the agency's ability to complete it. Meanwhile, controversy is brewing in Congress over calls to privatize air traffic control duties, now handled by the FAA.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Air Transportation
Jan. 18, 2019  Airline Industry Turbulence
May 15, 2015  Airline Safety
Oct. 18, 2013  Domestic Drones
Mar. 07, 2008  Future of the Airlines
Jun. 21, 2002  Future of the Airline Industry
Sep. 24, 1999  Airline Industry Problems
Oct. 08, 1993  Airline Safety
Oct. 24, 1986  Airline Deregulation
Oct. 19, 1984  Safety in the Air
Nov. 26, 1982  Troubled Air Transport Industry
Jun. 25, 1976  Air Safety
Mar. 21, 1975  Air-Fare Control
Jan. 27, 1971  Future of the Airlines
Sep. 10, 1969  Jumbo Jets: New Travel Era
Feb. 22, 1967  Airport Modernization
Mar. 18, 1964  Supersonic Transport Race
Feb. 07, 1962  Troubles of the Airlines
May 11, 1960  Prevention of Air Accidents
Sep. 17, 1958  Safety in the Air
May 23, 1956  Jet Age Problems
May 20, 1953  Safer Flying
Feb. 26, 1947  Air Safety
Jun. 08, 1944  Domestic Air Transportation
Apr. 08, 1944  International Air Transport
Mar. 02, 1939  Transatlantic Air Commerce
Jul. 14, 1927  Commercial Aeronautics
Jun. 20, 1925  Development of Commercial Air Navigation
Air Safety and Security
Air Transportation
General International Relations
Regulation and Deregulation