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No Commercial Plane Deaths in 2002

January 2, 2003

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ No one died aboard a passenger or cargo airliner in the United States in 2002, the third time in a decade that a year went by without a fatality on a commercial plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration credited new air traffic control technology, better training and vigilance by the aviation industry.

Agency spokesman Greg Martin said there were more than 13 million takeoffs and landings last year without a single death.

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 brought the 2001 death toll to 525. Billions of dollars have been spent since to protect air travelers from terrorists by screening baggage for bombs, deploying air marshals and installing bulletproof cockpit doors.

There were also no commercial aviation fatalities in 1993 and 1998, according to the FAA.

Small private planes were not as safe, with more than 500 fatal accidents last year, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

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On the Net:

Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.faa.gov

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