The fears that something could go wrong, causing unprecedented tragedy, have always accompanied development of new technologies. I think it´s important to distinguish between two very different things:
- How many lives in total
are potentially at stake with a new technology?
- How much would one single accident
affect you when you hear about it?
As a single technological development, the invention of the motor car has had tragic consequences of the highest order. But:
every single accident - as tragic as it is for the victim´s family and friends - doesn´t impress us all too much when it´s on TV.
On the other hand, if one single accident has any kind of spectacular circumstances, it will often deeply move very many people (and it´s getting a lot more airtime). Example: The Concorde crash dominated the news for many weeks; Thousands killed in road traffic are hardly mentioned.
There is absolutely no fairness in this, but that´s how the (public) mind appears to work...
And there´s another thing: The A380, like any other new plane, will have to be built to current and anticipated standards of safety. Older Aircraft, while obviously very safe as well, can´t be upgraded beyond a certain point.
It will probably never be possible to eliminate every
risk in transportation; But very many people are hard at work to reduce the probability
of accidents while at the same time (and often because of that) developing new cars, planes and ships.
It´s not new planes or
better safety - more often, it´s new planes for