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International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

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International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)


The Convention on International Civil Aviation (also known as the Chicago Convention), was signed on 7 December 1944 by 52 States. In October 1947, ICAO became a specialised agency of the United Nations linked to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The Convention on International Civil Aviation set forth the purpose of ICAO:

"WHEREAS the future development of international civil aviation can greatly help to create and preserve friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world, yet its abuse can become a threat to the general security; and WHEREAS it is desirable to avoid friction and to promote that co-operation between nations and peoples upon which the peace of the world depends; THEREFORE, the undersigned governments having agreed on certain principles and arrangements in order that international civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner and that international air transport services may be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically;”

ICAO is responsible for:

  • Safety
  • Registration
  • Airworthiness
  • Prevent economic waste
  • Fair competition
  • Standardization
  • Aviation Law

ICAO SARPS (Standards and Recommended Practices) giving the standards expected and recommendations encouraged are contained in 18 Annexes.

ICAO Annexes

The 18 Annexes deal with a wide range of subjects as follows:

  • Annex 1 – Personnel Licensing
  • Annex 2 – Rules of the Air
  • Annex 3 – Meteorological Services
  • Annex 4 – Aeronautical Charts
  • Annex 5 – Units of Measurement
  • Annex 6 – Operation of Aircraft
  • Annex 7 – Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks
  • Annex 8 – Airworthiness of Aircraft
  • Annex 9 – Facilitation
  • Annex 10 – Aeronautical Telecommunications
  • Annex 11 – Air Traffic Services
  • Annex 12 – Search and Rescue
  • Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation
  • Annex 14 – Aerodromes
  • Annex 15 – Aeronautical Information Services
  • Annex 16 – Environmental Protection
  • Annex 17 – Security
  • Annex 18 – The Safe Transportation of Dangerous Goods by Air

Annexes 2, 5, 7 & 8 contain international standards and no recommended practices (RPs). The remaining 14 Annexes contain both.

States are required to give notification of differences to standards, and States are invited to notify differences from Recommended Practices in Annexes; these are listed in Supplements to the Annexes.

Further Reading

For further information, refer to the ICAO website: http://www.icao.int/