International Civil Aviation Organization

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Civil Aviation Organization

ICAO headquarters in Montreal
Organization type Specialized agency
Abbreviation ICAO, OACI, ИКАО ( IKAO ),
management President
Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu Nigeria Secretary General Liu Fang since 2015 People's Republic of China

China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China 
Founded December 7, 1944
Headquarters Montreal Canada
Upper organization United NationsU.N. United Nations

The International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO , from English International Civil Aviation Organization ) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) with its headquarters in Montreal, Canada . The aim of the organization is to promote the sustainable growth of the global civil aviation system.

The ICAO was founded by the Convention on International Civil Aviation of December 7, 1944 (Chicago Convention) with the aim of standardizing civil aviation at the international level and received its current status with an agreement that came into force on May 13, 1947. Since Dominica joined the ICAO in April 2019, 193 contracting states have been members (as of November 2019). The ICAO regional office responsible for Europe is located in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris . Germany, which joined in 1956, is represented by a permanent delegation from the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), Austria by the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology .


The ICAO built on the CINA (French) and ICAN (English) founded in 1919 , which was dissolved after 1944 in favor of the ICAO. A detailed historical summary can be found in the article on the Convention on International Civil Aviation .


The organization has 193 members out of a potential 195. Dominica was the last member to join in April 2019. Only Liechtenstein and Vatican City are not members . Liechtenstein has authorized Switzerland to apply the agreement on behalf of Liechtenstein for the common customs territory .


For 2016, the organization had revenues of $ 198 million and expenses of $ 192 million. The ICAO is financed by the voluntary members of the member states as well as private donations.

The current logo

The ICAO logo has been adapted several times over the years. The current form has existed since 1995. The five logos represent the name of the organization in the six working languages ​​of the ICAO:

  • Arabic the transcriptionإيكاوthe English acronym ICAO ( not the acronym of the Arabic name of the organization)
  • Chinese the full Chinese name of the organization (国际民航组织)
  • English the acronym of the English name of the organization (ICAO)
  • French the acronym of the French name of the organization (OACI)
  • Russian the transcription ИКАО of the English acronym ICAO ( not the acronym of the Russian name of the organization)
  • Spanish the acronym of the Spanish name of the organization (OACI)


The most important tasks are:

further activities

The ICAO awards the Edward Warner Medal every three years for special achievements in civil aviation.


According to Article 43 of the Chicago Convention, the ICAO is composed of an assembly , a council and other similarly necessary organs. The Secretary General has been Liu Fang from the PRC since August 1, 2015 .

Assembly (Art. 48 f.)

The assembly is the supreme body of the ICAO. It consists of one representative from each Member State and meets at least every three years. Resolutions are passed with a majority of the votes cast, with each member state entitled to one vote. The main tasks of the Assembly are the election of the member states represented in the Council, the examination of the Council's reports and the revision of the Chicago Convention.

The Council (Art. 50 ff.)

The council is the executive body and is responsible for day-to-day management. It is considered the most important body of the ICAO. Representatives from 36 states are elected by the assembly for a three-year term of office. Both the countries that are most important in air traffic and those in the main geographic areas of the world should be given due consideration. The most important tasks of the council include carrying out the instructions of the assembly, reporting to it annually and appointing an aviation committee and an aviation commission. For the adoption of the amendments to the annexes recommended by the Aviation Commission, a two-thirds majority of the council's votes is required in accordance with Art. 90 .

Aviation Commission (Art. 56 f.)

The Aviation Commission consists of 19 members appointed by the Council. These persons must have experience in the scientific and practical areas of aviation. They mainly deal with changes to the annexes to the Chicago Convention.

SAR (Search and Rescue)

The operation of search and rescue services in many nations is based on the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual published jointly by ICAO and IMO . This facility, known as SAR for short, guarantees fast and adequate assistance after air and sea emergencies .

ICAO alphabet

The ICAO alphabet was introduced on March 1, 1956 as an international tag alphabet by the ICAO Air Traffic Control Commission. Its use in international radio communications has been agreed to be binding among the member states of the ITU (Annex 14 to the Radio Regulation ). It is therefore used worldwide in aviation and in many other areas, u. a. by NATO , used as a spelling board.

ICAO codes

The ICAO codes are used to uniquely identify airports and heliports on the one hand and airlines on the other. The ICAO codes are primarily used by air traffic control and to plan the flight route and should not be confused with the three-letter IATA codes for airports, which private individuals are confronted with much more frequently because they are asked for reservations, tickets, Time tables at the airport etc. can be used.

ICAO annexes

The " annexes " (appendices) to the international aviation convention ensure an internationally uniform handling of various practical aspects of aviation and thus enable international air traffic without special training of the flight personnel for each country and ensure minimum standards of services for aviation. The following annexes are currently (December 2011):

  • Annex 1: Personnel Licensing - licensing of aviation personnel
  • Annex 2: Rules of the Air - air traffic rules
  • Annex 3: Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation - Meteorological Services
  • Annex 4: Aeronautical Charts - aeronautical charts
  • Annex 5: Units of Measurement to be Used in Air and Ground Operations - units of measurement for use in the air and on the ground
  • Annex 6: Operation of Aircraft - Operation of aircraft
    • Part I - International Commercial Air Transport - Airplanes - commercial aviation with airplanes
    • Part II - International General Aviation - Airplanes - General aviation with airplanes
    • Part III - International Operations - Helicopters - Rotary wing aircraft
  • Annex 7: Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks - nationality and registration marks of aircraft
  • Annex 8: Airworthiness of Aircraft - Airworthiness of aircraft
  • Annex 9: Facilitation - relief
  • Annex 10: Aeronautical Telecommunications - Telecommunications
    • Volume I - Radio Navigation Aids - radio navigation
    • Volume II - Communication Procedures including those with PANS Status - Aeronautical Fixed Service , Flugfunk etc.
    • Volume III - Communications Systems - technical implementation
    • Volume IV - Surveillance Radar and Collision Avoidance Systems - Secondary Radar , ACAS etc.
    • Volume V - Aeronautical Radio Frequency Spectrum Utilization - radio frequencies
  • Annex 11: Air Traffic Services - Air traffic services (ATC, air traffic control, see air traffic management )
  • Annex 12: Search and Rescue - Search and Rescue (SAR)
  • Annex 13: Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation - Aircraft Accident - and prolapse investigation
  • Annex 14: Aerodromes - airfields
    • Volume I - Aerodrome Design and Operations - Construction and operation of airfields
    • Volume II - Heliports - Heliports
  • Annex 15: Aeronautical Information Services - flight information service
  • Annex 16: Environmental Protection - Environmental Protection
  • Annex 17: Security - Aviation Security
  • Annex 18: The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air - safe air transport ( dangerous goods )
  • Annex 19: Safety Management - Flight Safety Management

Like other ICAO publications, the annexes can be viewed in ICAO Depository Libraries. In Germany these are the library of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and the Institute for Air and Space Law at the University of Cologne , in Switzerland the library of the United Nations Office in Geneva .

Authorized organizations


CORSIA ( Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation ) is a carbon offsetting and reduction program for international civil aviation. Due to the high environmental impact of aviation , the ICAO decided in October 2016 to introduce a global mechanism for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from international civil aviation. Under this, the aviation operators have to offset their CO 2 emissions with so-called offset certificates. The system will be implemented in three phases:

  • States can participate voluntarily in a pilot phase 2021–2023 and a first phase 2024–2026.
  • In the second phase 2027–2035, participation is mandatory for all countries. Exceptions are states with a very small proportion of global flight movements.

The industry’s greenhouse gas target is CO 2 -neutral growth from 2020, but not an absolute reduction. Environmental organizations criticize that the system comes too late and is not ambitious enough. In addition, it is completely open which standards should apply to the compensation certificates. Another point of criticism is that CORSIA is only supposed to record CO 2 emissions. However, these probably make up less than half of the radiative forcing of air traffic, which is decisive for the effect on global warming.

See also


Web links

Commons : International Civil Aviation Organization  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Council President. ICAO, accessed on July 7, 2019 .
  2. accessed on July 7, 2019
  3. ^ Rainer Fritz Lick , Heinrich Schläfer: Accident rescue. Medicine and technology . Schattauer, Stuttgart / New York 1973, ISBN 978-3-7945-0326-1 ; 2nd, revised and expanded edition, ibid 1985, ISBN 3-7945-0626-X , p. 38.
  4. 8 UNTS 315 ( Memento from November 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ).
  5. Dominica becomes ICAO's 193rd Member State. Retrieved November 18, 2019 .
  6. About ICAO. Retrieved November 18, 2019 .
  7. See [5]
  8. Member States.English.pdf (PDF) ICAO. Retrieved July 20, 2014. The Minister of Switzerland made the following statement in the note transmitting the Swiss Instrument of Ratification: "My Government has instructed me to notify you that the authorities in Switzerland have agreed with the authorities in the Principality of Liechtenstein that this Convention will be applicable to the territory of the Principality as well as to that of the Swiss Confederation, as long as the Treaty of 29 March 1923 integrating the whole territory of Liechtenstein with the Swiss customs territory will remain in force ".
  9. Expenditure by Agency | United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. Retrieved November 22, 2018 .
  10. List of Depository Libraries on the ICAO website
  11. 2. What is CORSIA and how does it work? Retrieved February 21, 2017 (American English).
  12. Climate protection in air traffic: Too late, too weak, too little serious | Germanwatch eV Retrieved on February 21, 2017 .
  13. Aviation industry postpones climate protection . In: . ( [accessed on February 21, 2017]).
  14. Climate impact of air traffic , Federal Environment Agency 2012, PDF
  15. Bernd Kärcher: Formation and radiative forcing of contrail cirrus . In: Nature Communications . May 2018, doi : 10.1038 / s41467-018-04068-0 .