Canada TSB: Air Accidents and Incidents Rise 14% in 2023

Close-up of jet undercarriage.
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The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) recently published its final annual report on transportation occurrences across various sectors in 2023. This including air travel accident and incident reporting.

This report builds upon preliminary data released earlier this year.

Air Travel Statistics

Air travel safety in Canada saw a mixed bag of results in 2023. While the total number of reported occurrences (accidents and incidents) increased by 14% to 1,020 compared to 2022, there were positive trends in accident rates.

Most (169) of the accidents in 2023 took place in Canada and involved Canadian-registered aircraft. In general, the number of air transportation accidents has decreased in the last decade.

Air transportation in Canada continued to rebound in 2023, after 3 years of significant disruption. Year-over-year demand for business and vacation travel increased and cargo activity remained high.

Yearly accident data for Canada TSB air safety report

Accidents and Fatalities

There were 182 aviation accidents in 2023, reflecting a 10% rise from the previous year. However, the number of fatal accidents (19) and associated fatalities (33) decreased slightly.

This compares to 2022 which recorded 24 accidents and 34 fatalities. This indicates a continuing long-term decline in fatal air accidents over the past decade.

Commercial vs. Private Operations

The report also highlighted a shift in the types of accidents. Accidents involving commercial operators witnessed a significant increase of 38%. This rose from 56 in 2022 to 77 in 2023.

In contrast, those accidents involving private air operations saw a slight decrease. This reduced marginally, from 108 in 2022 to 103 in 2023.

Aviation Incidents

The number of aviation incidents, which are occurrences that cause damage or pose a potential threat to safety, also rose in 2023. There were 838 incidents reported, compared to 728 in the previous year.

In 2023, a total of 838 air transportation incidents were reported in accordance with the TSB Regulations.

This represents an increase of 15% from the 728 that were reported in 2022 and is 13% above the average of 742 incidents recorded per year between 2013 and 2022.

Prior to 2020, incident counts had been generally increasing, which reflected both an increase in commercial flying activity and the introduction of new TSB reporting regulations that became effective 01 July 2014.

Overall Takeaways

While the rise in total occurrences and commercial operator accidents is a cause for concern, the decrease in fatal accidents and fatalities is a positive development for Canadian aviation safety.

The TSB report serves as valuable data for stakeholders in the industry to further improve safety measures and build upon the progress made in recent years.

Air Safety: Looking Ahead

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigates civil aviation occurrences that take place in or over Canada and any place that is under Canadian air traffic control.

The TSB also investigates occurrences anywhere in the world that involve an aircraft operated by a person to whom a Canadian aviation document had been issued under Part I of the Aeronautics Act.

The full TSB 2023 Report can be accessed here.

By analyzing trends and factors, the TSB and industry players can develop targeted interventions to mitigate risks and ensure continued improvement in Canadian air travel safety.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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