New Delhi, Dec 31: Indian airspace remained free of any major mishap involving airlines and helicopters this year, which saw three major air accidents hogging the headlines globally.
There were 20 air accidents across the world in 2014, which included the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370, shooting down of MH-17 of the same airline and AirAsia Indonesia's QZ-8501 plunging into the sea after getting caught in extreme weather.
Indian aviation industry saw a "safe" year with four "minor" accidents involving small airplanes of non-scheduled air operators, though the operations of scheduled airlines and helicopters have remained completely accident-free in 2014, latest official data showed.
No accident occurred in the scheduled commercial air transport since 2011 after the Air India Express crash in Mangalore on May 22, 2010 that claimed 158 lives.
DGCA officials said the regulatory interventions and heightened safety surveillance carried out by the aviation regulator during the year had led to such a result.
Almost 70 heightened surveillance inspections were carried out on aircraft and choppers of various types of operators this year.
However, they expressed serious concern over the "exponential" growth in incidents relating to bird-hits or animal strikes at various airports, which included a buffalo hitting a taxiing SpiceJet plane severely damaging its engine.
The number of such incidents, including those of stray animals in the operational area, rose from 302 in 2009 to 378 in 2010, 621 in 2011, 683 in 2012 and 736 in 2013.