THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

1947: Melbourne Regional air navigation meeting

 

The fifth and last Regional Air Navigation (RAN) Meeting of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) was held in Melbourne, Australia for the South Pacific Region from Tuesday 4 to Saturday 22 February 1947.

 

This meeting studied the air navigation requirements peculiar to the South Pacific Region and drafted recommendations for the requisite facilities, services and supplementary procedures for the Region with suggested target dates for their introduction. Recommendations by the technical committees included: establishment of meteorological services, international air routes and airports, and air traffic control services, as well as extended systems for search and rescue facilities, communications, and radio aids to air navigation. The establishment of an ICAO Regional Representative was proposed by the General Committee. This meeting, the fifth of a series of ten scheduled for the various regions of the world, was attended by delegations from twelve participating  States, four observing States, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the Fédération aéronautique internationale (FAI).

 

On Monday 3 February 1947 (the day before the meeting opening), a special post office was opened up at the University of Melbourne, Australia, in connection with the above PICAO conference. Covers bearing a cancellation from the first day of operation of this office can be found. The abbreviated name of the organization (PICAO), along with the abbreviated place (Melb.) and country of the meeting (Aust.) were stamped manually on the registration label.

 

It was the original intention of PICAO to establish an office in each of the ten air navigation regions; at the time ICAO replaced the provisional organization in April 1947, there were offices in Dublin for the North Atlantic Region (later, its responsibilities were shifted to the Paris office); Paris for the European-Mediterranean Region; Cairo for the Middle-East Region; and a temporary mission in Melbourne for the South-West Pacific Region. The ICAO Asia and Pacific Regional Office was established in 1948 at Melbourne, Australia. It was then named Far East and Pacific Office. At the invitation of the Kingdom of Thailand and taking into account the advantage of the geographical location, this Regional Office (renamed Asia and Pacific Office) was moved to Bangkok, Thailand (in an inner suburb of the city named St. Kilda), and started functioning from there with effect from 3 January 1955. The purpose of the move was to locate the office on the Asiatic mainland at a point closer to the centre of activity of the area, which it served.

 

 

Registered cover (with blue provisional C6 registration label) postmarked on the day before the

meeting opening. Back of the cover shows the registry mark.

 

 

Special Hand-Stamp.

Postmark of the day prior to the official opening of the meeting. Registration label with the abbreviated name of the Organization (PICAO), along with the abbreviated place (Melb.) and country (Aust.) of the meeting.

 

Postcard with first day cancellation (3 February 1947, i.e. the day before the meeting opening).

Conference hand-stamp: P.I.C.A.O. – Melbourne, Aust.

Autographed by H.A. Robertson, Postmaster.

 

Registered cover (with blue provisional C6 registration label) postmarked on 7 February 1947.

Autographed by H.A. Robertson, Postmaster.

 

First Day Cover (postmarked on the opening day of the meeting: 4 February 1947).

 

Second Day Cover showing the full name of the Provisional Organization.

Registration label with the abbreviated name of the Organization (PICAO), along with the abbreviated place (Melb.) and country (Aust.) of the meeting.

 

Service cover sent by the DELEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA attending the meeting, with Australian 2½D King George VI (KGVI) stamp (red; issued on 7 January 1942).

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