Of course, most airline accidents do not result in fatalities. In 2018, there were several thousand reported cases of serious but non-fatal injuries from commercial airlines accidents. The majority of these accidents were caused by a runway excursion, whereby the plane veers off or overruns the runway surface during takeoff or landing. Issues with landing gears and ground damage, where airline personnel cause damage to an aircraft on the ground, were also common causes. Of the fatal accidents in 2018, the majority were due to a loss of control of the aircraft in-flight, followed by runway excursion.
Air transportation safety is a broader issue than the risk of aircraft accidents though. Another key safety issue is the need for airports to screen passengers and baggage prior to boarding, reducing the risk of dangerous goods or passengers endangering other passengers or the crew during the flight. Airport security procedures create waiting times though, creating the need to balance efficiency with safety – especially seeing as most passengers believe a wait time of more than five minutes is unacceptable. Accordingly, hundreds of millions of dollars are invested globally every year in improving airport security while speeding up processes, for example through implementing automated biometric identification systems.