Flying the Unfriendly Skies: Airline Security

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On Thursday, May 19, EgyptAir flight 804 crashed over the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 66 people aboard.  Although terrorism is on the list of possible culprits, the cause of the crash is still under investigation. But the flight joins a list of similar tragedies that have struck since 2014. These include the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine, a pilot purposefully crashing Germanwings flight 9525, and mechanical failure causing the crash of Air Algerie flight 5017, amongst others.

Fortunately, commercial airline crashes are very rare. On average, there are over 28,000 commercial airline flights everyday in the United States alone, and only an extremely small number ever crash. There were only 73 accidents out of 38 million flights in 2014, according to the International Air Transport – and only 12 of those were fatal. This is a testament to how both airlines and governments are committed to keeping customers safe, even as the threats to commercial aircraft seem to be increasing everyday.

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