How safe is flying, really?

Katherine Anderson, Features Editor

Flight 691, a Yeti airlines operated flight, was en route from Kathmandu to Pokhara in Nepal. This roughly 30 minute flight quickly turned deadly. January 15, Flight 691 crashed while landing at Pokhara, Nepal killing all 72 passengers and staff on board. It is considered the deadliest aviation accident involving an ATR 72. 

January 13, at the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America, John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, two passenger airplanes nearly missed colliding into each other. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Delta Air Lines flight had to halt taking off at “approximately 1,000 feet ” from where an American Airlines flight had crossed the same runway, directly in front of the Delta plane taking off. The American Airline’s plane, a Boeing 777, was traveling from an adjacent taxiway, and air traffic controllers noticed the two approaching aircrafts about to collide. 

In America, you have a 1 in 11 million chance of dying in a plane crash. This number drops when compared to international statistics to a 1 in 1.2 million chance of dying in a plane crash. So with these numbers, and the recent aviation scares, how safe really is flying? Everyone always talks about how safe air travel is, but in reality is it? 

Harvard University conducted a study that flying in a plane is safer than driving a car in the United States, Australia and Europe. Comparing driving to flying, you have a 1 in 5,000 chance of dying while driving in a car. 

Flying, although at times scary with much turbulence, high altitudes and fatal crashes, is in fact safe. The Federal Aviation Administration is very strict with regulations and rules to ensure flyers safety. There are countless tests, studies and planning that go on behind the scenes of flying, and yes sometimes there are accidents and mishaps, but for the most part, flying is in fact safe.