After two infamous crashes in 1996 that together killed 375 people, a White House commission told the airline industry and its regulators to reduce the domestic rate of fatal accidents 80 percent over 10 years. That clock ended Sunday.
They have come close to reaching that goal. Barring a crash before midnight Sunday, the drop in the accident rate will be about 65 percent, to one fatal accident in about 4.5 million departures, from one in nearly 2 million in 1997.
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