THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

Annex 16 – Environmental Protection

 

Developed by ICAO, the International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) contained in the nineteen Technical Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (also called Chicago Convention) are applied universally and produce a high degree of technical uniformity which has enabled international civil aviation to develop in a safe, orderly and efficient manner.

 

The necessity to write provisions covering the negative sides of civil aviation became a serious concern in the early 1960s with the introduction of the first generation of jet aircraft and the acceleration of their use in international flights. In November 1966, the international conference on the reduction of noise and disturbance caused by civil aircraft (also known as the London Noise Conference) was held with the objective of reaching international solution through the machinery of ICAO. The following year, the Fifth Air Navigation Conference of ICAO held at Montreal in November 1967 made certain recommendations on the subject. Based upon these recommendations, the 16th Session of the ICAO Assembly, held in September 1968 in Buenos Aires, adopted Resolution A16-3 calling for an international conference to consider the problem of aircraft noise in the vicinity of airports and seeking to establish international specifications and guidance material relating to aircraft noise.

 

Annex 16

Environmental Protection

Further to the Special Meeting on Aircraft Noise in the vicinity of aerodromes, held in Montreal in 1969, the first SARPS for Aircraft Noise forming the text of Annex 16 were adopted in 1971 by the ICAO Council. During ICAO subsequent meetings, the Committee on Aircraft Noise was formed.

Resolution A18-11 adopted by the 18th Session of ICAO Assembly held in Vienna in 1971 led to specific action on the question of engine emissions and detailed proposals for ICAO Standards for the control of engine emissions from certain types of aircraft engines. This resolution placed on ICAO the responsibility to guide the development of international civil aviation in such a manner as to benefit the people of the world and to achieve maximum compatibility between the safe and orderly development of civil aviation and the quality of the human environment. The Committee on Aircraft Engine Emissions (CAEE) was subsequently established with a view to develop specific Standards for aircraft engine emissions; these Standards, adopted in 1981, set limits for the emission of smoke and certain gaseous pollutants for large turbo-jet and turbofan engines to be produced in the future; they also prohibit the venting of raw fuels. The scope of the existing Annex 16 was thus widened to include engine emission provisions and the document was re-titled Environmental Protection. Volume I of the reorganized Annex 16 contains provisions related to Aircraft Noise, while Volume II contains provisions related to Aircraft Engine Emissions.

In 1983, the two above-mentioned Committees were amalgamated to form the Committee on Aviation Environment Protection (CAEP), as a Technical Committee of the ICAO Council (the only technical committee of the Council). Since its establishment, CAEP has further developed the Standards in Annex 16 for both aircraft noise and engine emissions. In 2013, CAEP was composed of 23 Members from all regions of the world and 16 Observers; moreover, approximately 400 internationally renowned experts are involved in CAEP’s activities.

 

In 2010, Delegates to the 37th Session of ICAO Assembly adopted an unprecedented and historic global commitment on international aviation and climate change for a collective action among countries around the world —developed and developing— to limit and reduce carbon emissions from international aviation. ICAO recognized that further work is necessary to define the path forward on implementation. The resolution on the environment makes ICAO the first United Nations Agency to lead a sector in the establishment of a globally harmonized agreement for addressing its CO2 emissions.

 

37th Session of ICAO Assembly – Souvenir cover.

The text on this envelope is printed in green, referring to one of the main topics of discussion during this Session of the Assembly, i.e. the environment. On the other hand, the central part of figure 37 is designed from a selection of drawings by children submitted during the competition on the theme of Aviation in a Green Environment, held at ICAO in 2009 for the World Environment Day (WED). The theme of that year’s WED celebration was: Many Species. One Planet. One Future.. Commemorated on 5 June since 1972, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) stimulate worldwide awareness of the environmental challenges, thereby enhancing political attention and action. To show its support for WED, ICAO invited children and dependants of ICAO employees and of National Delegations (ages 3 to 12) to submit drawings on the theme: Aviation in a Green Environment. The winning artist was Keely McGann (10 years old).

 

Drawing by Keely McGann, winning artist of the 2009 drawing contest

organized by ICAO on the theme: Aviation in a Green Environment.

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