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Are Americans' thoughts on plane safety swayed by recent incidents?

The aviation industry has seen a string of recent incidents, such as when a door plug flew off a Boeing jet mid-flight.
Are Americans' thoughts on plane safety swayed by recent incidents?
Posted at 10:43 AM, Feb 09, 2024

It has a been a turbulent time for the aviation industry amid a string of recent incidents.  

In January, a door plug flew off a passenger plane mid-flight, grounding a whole fleet of Boeing Max 9 jets. As recently as Thursday, two JetBlue planes collided in Boston, with one plane's wingtip coming in contact with another plane's tail. 

Most Americans, however — especially those who are frequent flyers — still feel air travel is generally safe, according to a new joint poll by The Associated Press and NORC. 

But only 2 in 10 adults in the U.S. are confident that planes are being properly maintained or are safe from structural faults. And about 4 in 10 Americans believe pilots and air traffic controllers can maintain the safety of air travel. 

Americans also aren’t so confident in those leading the industry. Only about 20% said they are confident in the work federal agencies, commercial airlines or airplane manufacturers do to uphold air safety, according to the poll. But a higher 45% are confident in the ability of pilots to maintain their safety. 

Still, Americans consider planes, along with cars, among the safest forms of transportation in the country. They feel less safe with bicycles or public transportation. 

SEE MORE: NTSB: Bolts missing before panel blew out on Alaska Airlines Boeing


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