Since its creation in December 1944, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has devoted itself to the promotion of safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation throughout the world. With a view to serve the Contracting member States in a better and co-ordinated manner, Regional Offices (presently seven Regional Offices) were established progressively. The Asia and Pacific Office was established in 1948 at Melbourne, Australia. It was then named Far East and Pacific Office. In the beginning the Office was accredited to 12 States in the Far East and Pacific – Australia, Burma (Myanmar), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (Republic of Korea), New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Official inauguration of the new Conference Building
on 15 January 2004 by Dr. Assad Kotaite, President
of the ICAO Council and H.E. Mr. Vichet Kasemthongsri,
Deputy Minister of Transport
Kotaite Wing – Conference Centre
At the invitation of the Kingdom of Thailand and taking into account the advantage of its geographical location, the Regional Office was shifted to Bangkok, Thailand, and started functioning from there with effect from 3 January 1955. The number of States to which the Office is accredited has grown significantly and currently the Asia and Pacific Office is accredited to 36 States as listed in the area of responsibility.
Since re-locating to Bangkok, ICAO has held three major Regional Air Navigation (RAN) Meetings for Asia and Pacific Regions: 1973 in Honolulu, 1983 in Singapore, and 1993 in Bangkok. The Asia Pacific Air Navigation Planning and Implementation Regional Group (APANPIRG) was established by the ICAO Council in 1991 and had its first meeting in April 1992 at the Regional Office. Since then, APANPIRG has been working towards ensuring continuous and coherent development of the Asia/Pacific Regional Air Navigation Plan and facilitating the implementation of the corresponding air navigation systems and services with due observance of the primacy of air safety, regularity and efficiency.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the Asia and Pacific Regions have seen some of the most outstanding developments in international civil aviation: the advent of turbine engines, the switch to jet aircraft in the 1960's, the new high capacity aircraft in the late 1960's and early 1970's, the construction of massive international airports and the double digit growth of aviation. The last two decades of the century were marked with the development of the long haul aircraft and progressive implementations of the new Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system in 1990s. The beginning of the 21st century brought new important developments, such as, the introduction of the ultra-long range operations, the advent of new large aircraft, and the rapid expansion of the low-cost airlines.
The Regional Office is very grateful to the Royal Government of Thailand for the continuous support to its activities and for generously providing excellent working facilities. The current Secretariat Building was provided at no cost to ICAO in 1989. The land area is approximately 3.5 rais (equivalent to approximately 1.5 acres). The premises consist of a three-storey air-conditioned building with the total built-up area of approximately 3,108 square meters. It consists of office space for officers, staff, short term consultants, library and ICAO document sales unit.
Due to the inadequate conference facilitates to accommodate increasing number of participants from Member States, the Government of Thailand has kindly provided a new conference facilities adjacent to the Regional Office. The new conference facilities which was named “The Kotaite Wing of the Asia and Pacific Office” by the Royal Thai Government in recognition of the contribution to the development of international civil aviation by Dr. Assad Kotaite, President of the ICAO Council, was inaugurated on 15 January 2004. It consists of a large conference hall that can accommodate approximately 210 persons, three meeting rooms of varying sizes to accommodate between 40 and 75 persons, exhibition area and other related facilities such as cafeteria and secretariat offices. The conference hall and all meeting rooms are equipped with modern sound system and multimedia equipment for presentations.
The ICAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok will continue to serve its Member States as they prepare to meet the challenges ahead with continuing healthy and rapid growth in air traffic and technological advancements.