Alaska        -           Alaska needs a comprehensive review effort to improve aviation safety because its fatal and non-fatal accident rates are far higher than the national average, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday. The NTSB issued a safety recommendation to the Federal Aviation Administration calling for the formation of a group focused on safety to better review, rank and integrate Alaska’s unique aviation needs into the FAA safety enhancement process. “We need to marshal the resources of the FAA to tackle aviation safety in Alaska in a comprehensive way,” NTSB Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt said in a prepared statement. “The status quo is, frankly, unacceptable.” Alaska’s aviation accident rate was 2.35 times higher than the rest of the nation from 2008 to 2017, the NTSB said. The fatal accident rate in the Alaska was 1.34 times higher than the national average, according to NTSB statistics. The latest fatal crash occurred Feb. 6. A pilot and four passengers died when a Yute Commuter airplane crashed near Tuntutuliak in southwest Alaska. Aviation safety in Alaska has been an ongoing concern for the NTSB.