THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

ACI – Airports International Council

 

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Airports Council International (ACI) is a non-profit organization, whose prime purpose is to advance the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations. By fostering cooperation amongst airports, world aviation organisations and business partners, ACI seeks to provide the travelling public a safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible air transport system. ACI is the voice of the airports in interacting with world bodies and advocates for the global airports industry before the media and opinion leaders. International partner organisations include the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other specialised UN Organizations; the association also works closely with other worldwide organizations, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA). ACI has an observer status at the ICAO Air Navigation Commission; the ACI Liaison Office with ICAO in Montreal opened in 1994.

 

   Logo of ACI

 

In January 1948, nineteen U.S. commercial airports gathered in New York City to form the Airports Operators Council (AOC) to address and solve mutual problems facing airports in the U.S.; it was based in Washington D.C. Topics like airport operations and airport relations with the federal government and other segments of the industry topped the list. The founding members included Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington.

 

Due to the evolving nature of international air transport, AOC recognized that airports did not have an international body and that its future would lie in its active, direct involvement in international political activities. In May 1966, AOC recommended a name change to better reflect its increasing international activities and goals and became Airport Operators Council International (AOCI).

 

On 6 December 1970, the Airports Associations Coordinating Council (AACC, based in Geneva) was established to represent collectively on the international scene the following three airport associations:  the Airport Operators Council International (AOCI); the International Civil Airports Association (ICAA) created in 1962 and based in Paris; and the Western European Airports Association (WEAA) created in 1950 and based in Zurich. Up until then, the three associations had collaborated on an informal ad hoc basis and had presented the interests of their memberships to other international organizations separately. The AACC had the responsibility of coordinating and establishing unified positions in matters of interest to the international airport industry, and communicating these positions to other international aviation organizations and governmental bodies. ICAO granted AACC observer status in 1971. After WEAA was dissolved in 1986, AACC became a bipartite body.

 

In 1989, AOCI and ICAA began to discuss how the international aspects of both associations could be successfully integrated by forming a new, single, worldwide organization which would be based in Geneva, where AACC was located, but which would replace AACC.  The Constitution of the new Airports Association Council International, based in Geneva, was approved by AOCI and ICAA memberships in the autumn of 1990 and came into effect on 1 January 1991. The initial name was later changed to Airports Council International (ACI).

 

ACI comprises five geographical regions, each operating as an independent trade group under a collective affiliation through the ACI brand. Based in Washington, D.C., and representing most commercial airports in the USA and Canada, Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) is the largest of the five worldwide regions of ACI.

 

The ACI Liaison Office with ICAO in Montréal opened in May 1994 to enhance further the interface between the two organizations and to contribute to a greater awareness in ICAO of airports’ policies and concerns. More recently, ACI inaugurated its world headquarters in Montréal on 3 May 2011 (at 800 Square Victoria, Suite 1810, Montréal), in collaboration with Montréal International. The international organization, which, in 2011, comprised 580 member airport authorities operating more than 1,650 airports in 179 countries, is thus closer to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other air transportation international organizations already established in Montréal. ACI thus enhances its ability to represent the interests of airport authorities to ICAO, its member states and its permanent delegations, and better coordinates its actions with ICAO’s initiatives in the areas of safety, security, environment, training and operational efficiency.

 

Service cover sent by the Airport Operators Council International (AOCI) to ICAO.

Postmarked on 17 May 1978.

 

Republic of Korea – 17 October 1989

29th World Congress of the International Civil Airports Association (ICAA)

 

ACI Service cover sent to ICAO – Postmarked on 17 January 1994.

 

Canada’s official first day cover, issued for the 50th anniversary of ICAO in 1994, was overprinted with the emblem of the ACI-NA, on the occasion of the 3rd Annual ACI-NA Regional Conference and Exhibition, held in Toronto, Canada, from 25 to 28 September 1994. This overprinted cover was made available to the participants at the conference.

The cachet of this cover complements the Canadian stamp by depicting a modern airport tower located at Saint-Hubert, Province of Québec, Canada.

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