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The Nation

October 11, 1987

By a margin of 2 to 1, Americans say that commercial air travel is more dangerous than it was five years ago, while a majority believe that the federal government is not doing enough to resolve the problem, according to the Gallup Poll. In the latest survey, 64% of the respondents say air travel safety has declined, 28% feel it is unchanged and 5% believe it is safer. Although 55% believe the government has been remiss in improving air safety, 31% believe it has done a satisfactory job. The tendency to hold the government accountable runs across party lines, with Republicans (53%) and Democrats (57%) in close agreement that the government should do more. In addition, fear of flying has increased dramatically in the last four years. Forty-eight percent of passengers reported being at least occasionally afraid, versus 33% in 1983.

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