'Give me a break': Trump criticised for taking credit for aviation milestone

Donald Trump has been criticised on social media after he credited his tough stance on commercial aviation for information which showed that 2017 was the safest year on record.

Last year was the safest year for civil aviation since plane crash statistics were first compiled in 1946, two industry studies have found.

The president hailed the results on Tuesday, and credited his "very strict" stance on commercial aviation for the positive data in the United States.

The claim has been criticised on social media, and even drew a response from the White House. 

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders was questioned by a journalist about whether President Trump should thank former president Barack Obama as there had not been a fatal passenger airline crash in the US since 2009, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Ms Sanders hit back by claiming the current president had "raised the bar" without going into specifics.

"The president has raised the bar for the nation's aviation safety and security," she told reporters in the daily White House briefing.

"Last year the president announced his initiative to modernise air traffic control and under his leadership, the Department of Homeland Security released enhanced security measures to ensure safer commercial air travel."

Social media users were also perplexed with Mr Trump's claim, with Breaking Bad actor and producer Bryan Cranston, one of many people to mock the president.

A total of 10 crashes of civil passenger and cargo planes claimed 44 lives, said the Aviation Safety Network in a statement published Monday.

"The year 2017 turned out to be the safest year ever for commercial aviation," ASN said.

Five of the fatal accidents involved cargo flights and five passenger flights.

The previous year, ASN recorded 16 accidents and 303 lives lost.

No major airline crashed a plane, the To70 agency said in its annual report, also published Monday.

"The past year has been another exceptionally good year for civil aviation safety," To70 said.

"2017 was much better than could reasonably (and statistically) be expected, and was again better than last year's remarkable performance," said To70 researcher Adrian Young.

- With AFP

Published 3 January 2018 at 12:51pm, updated 3 January 2018 at 12:55pm
By Riley Morgan