A report from aviation insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE finds that while the skies are arguably safer than ever, there are a number of emerging risks that will impact carriers and insurers. Until last year’s string of atypical aviation disasters (among them Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in which 283 passengers and 15 crew members perished after it was reportedly shot down by a missile over the eastern Ukraine, and the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, including its 239 passengers and crew), the industry’s safety record has improved to fewer than two passenger deaths for every 100 million passengers. Over the last 60 years, the industry has seen a decline in accidents as technology and training improved. By today’s estimates, there is a greater chance of dying while riding a bicycle (1 in 340,000) than dying aboard an airplane in the U.S. (1 in 29 million). Even the odds of being killed by lightning are higher—1 in 10.5 million.

The greatest risk still comes from the human factors that affect safety. These include: pilot fatigue, pilot training and crew resource management. Approximately 70% of commercial fatal accidents are still due to human error, despite many technological developments. Crew fatigue contributes to about 15%-20% of the accidents, and a number of initiatives will continue to improve safety efforts.

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