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Today marks four years to the day since the last fatal crash of a commercial airliner in the U.S. In addition, the New York Times points out that last year was the safest for global air travel since 1945.

According to Keith Mackey, an aviation safety consultant in Ocala, Florida, there have been several key technological advancements in airline safety, including better weather radar, new plane tracking systems, and better equipped planes.

In addition, Mackey says the airline industry and regulators are learning from mistakes.

"One of the things that we learned from our last accident, in Buffalo four years ago, is some of the airlines were hiring very inexperienced pilots, and the FAA is taking steps now to change that," says Mackey.

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Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson