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Video: Trump’s Airline Safety Claim


In this week’s fact-checking video, CNN’s Jake Tapper examines President Donald Trump’s suggestion that his “very strict” policies on commercial aviation were responsible for “the best and safest year on record.”

As we wrote, in the United States, there have been no deaths from U.S. commercial airline accidents since 2009.

The president is correct that 2017 was “the safest year ever for commercial aviation,” according to the Aviation Safety Network, which maintains an airliner accident database. In fact, while there were deaths from turbo-prop or cargo planes, there were no fatalities from commercial passenger jet accidents last year worldwide.

But the president of the Aviation Safety Network said the number of accidents has been on a steady decline since 1997.

There’s no evidence that Trump’s policies had anything to do with 2017’s safety record.

The White House in a statement pointed to the president’s proposal to privatize the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control system, but Congress hasn’t voted on such legislation. And it noted that the Department of Homeland Security had “released enhanced security measures.” For part of the year, DHS had banned large portable electronic devices from carry-on luggage on flights to the U.S. from 10 Muslim-majority countries, and in late June, DHS announced enhanced security procedures for all commercial flights entering the U.S.

The White House didn’t provide any evidence that those changes had any impact on airline accidents.

The video, which can be found on CNN’s website, is part of our fact-checking collaboration with CNN’s “State of the Union.” Previous videos can be found on our website.