Series of air accidents see rise in aviophobia

Series of air accidents see rise in aviophobia
Updated 04 April 2016

Series of air accidents see rise in aviophobia

Series of air accidents see rise in aviophobia

JEDDAH: The rising number of aviation accidents in recent times has given way to a state of anticipatory anxiety called aviophobia (the fear of flying) among most travelers, said Tariq Al-Habib of the Arab Federation of Psychiatrists.
He said aviophobia is on the rise, as all media outlets and social networking sites report frequent plane crashes, hijackings and emergency landings.
“This happens for a temporary period and then the rates go back to normal levels,” Al-Habib was quoted as saying to a local publication.
“Lately, the world has witnessed an increasing number of aviation accidents, the latest among them includes the FlyDubai passenger jet crash in Russia in which all passengers were killed. This was followed by the hijacking of an Egyptian plane and many emergency landings. All these contribute to the increase in people suffering from aviophobia.”
He said many patients suffer from this phobia though he said this may not be an illness in itself, but a symptom of another disorder such as panic attacks.
He confirmed that there were treatments for the phobia which is classified among neurotic mental disorders. “The treatments might include drugs and medications, or behavioral psychological treatment under the supervision and follow-up of a specialized doctor. In some cases, patients who are forced to travel ask for a full anesthetic based on their desires; others use another means of transportation.”
Retired pilot Abdullah Al-Sadoun said air flights were safer compared to other means of transport.
“As the majority of the risks and threats are human in origin, air flight disasters are always subjected to investigation to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Planes are always equipped with safety equipment. Human error in any air disaster involves taking the wrong decision at the incorrect time during landing or taking off. The other factors involved include bad weather conditions but nowadays we have technology which has served and developed aviation,” he said.
He concluded that the media played a big role in decreasing aviophobia and assuring passengers of safety measures that are always taken during flights.