International Civil Aviation Organization


Flag of ICAOThe International Civil Aviation Organization was founded in Chicago on 7 December 1944 at the end of a conference of 54 states. The United States government initiated this conference after consultations with the Allied Nations. The ICAO was set up as a means to secure international co-operation in order to obtain the highest possible degree of uniformity in regulations and standards, procedures and organisation regarding civil aviation matters. At the same time the International Services Transit Agreement and the International Air Transport Agreement were signed.


The most important work accomplished by the Chicago Conference was in the technical field because the Conference laid the foundation for a set of rules and regulations regarding air navigation as a whole which brought safety in flying a great step forward and paved the way for the application of a common air navigation system throughout the world.


Because of the inevitable delays in the ratification of the Convention, the Conference had signed an Interim Agreement, which foresaw the creation of a Provisional International Organization of a technical and advisory nature with the purpose of collaboration in the field of international civil aviation (PICAO). This Organization was in operation from August 1945 to April 1947 when the permanent ICAO came into being. Its seat was in Montreal, Canada and in 1947 the change from PICAO to ICAO was little more than a formality.


Edward Warner, first president of the ICAO CouncilThe creation of ICAO brought an end to the International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN). In 1910, a conference on international air law code, attended by representatives of 18 European nations, was convened in Paris, France. In 1919, following World War I, the Paris Peace Conference created the International Air Convention to govern aspects of civil aviation. The Convention, ratified by 38 nations, began the process of creating an International Commission for Air Navigation; ICAN established headquarters in Paris in December 1922, with Albert Roper as general secretary.


The first president of the ICAO Council was Edward Warner. This American aviation pioneer led the council from 1947 to 1957. In his honour ICAO created the Edward Warner Award for aviation pioneers or organizations that have contributed to civil aviation.


Since 1994 7 December is celebrated as International Civil Aviation Day. The purpose of the global celebration is to generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation in the social and economic development of States, and of the role of ICAO in promoting the safety, efficiency and regularity of international air transport.





The website of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Flag of ICAO in Flags of the World.



Related persons - winners of the Edward Warner Award


1959              Plesman, Albert

1973              ASECNA



Related subjects


ICAO 40th anniversary

ICAO 50th anniversary


International Civil Aviation Day


First powered flight 75th anniversary



Catalogue - general issues


Belgium                               17 April 1958









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last revised: 26 August 2010