A United Nations Specialized Agency




By ALBERT PELSSER - Last updated on 13 August 2015



The Postal History of ICAO provides an unusual approach to the history of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); this history is based on the philatelic material, i.e. stamps and covers, related to ICAO. The historical episodes of this Organization start from the Chicago Convention (1944); however, the predecessor Organizations and Conferences are a full part of this postal history.

NEW or MODIFIED chapters are indicated as of last update. Changes will be introduced on a cycle of approximately six months. Comments may be addressed to the following e-mail address: The Postal History of ICAO. A search tool is available above right.



                            The Postal History of ICAO




L'OACI: Une Agence spécialisée des Nations Unies à Montréal

Les grandes étapes de la réglementation de la navigation aérienne


                            The Paris Convention of 1910



The Path to Internationalism


                            International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN)



The 1919 Paris Convention: The Starting Point for the Regulation of Air Navigation

Albert Roper: Architect of the 1919 Paris Convention

ICAN's Global Prospects Reduced to Regionalism

International Aviation Organizations Working Alongside ICAN

         and Dealing Exclusively with Aeronautical Matters

International Aviation Organizations Working Alongside ICAN

         and Dealing Secondarily with Aeronautical Matters        

The Air Post Conferences


                            International Meetings during ICAN



1926: The Ibero-American Convention

1927: Airline Companies Officially Recognized as Airmail Carriers

1928: The Havana Convention

1928: The International Civil Aeronautics Conference (MODIFIED)

1937: The Inter-American Technical Conference on Aviation

International Legal Instruments before 1944


                            The Birth of ICAO



1944: The Chicago Conference (MODIFIED)


                            Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO)



1945: The Canadian Preparatory Committee and PICAO into Action

1945-1946: PICAO – The Spirit of Internationalism

1946: Montréal Confirmed as Capital of International Civil Aviation

1946: PICAO's First Regional Air Navigation Meetings

The Interim Assembly of PICAO

The Site of the Interim Organization

From PICAO to ICAO: Organizational Similarities


                            International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)



The Growth of ICAO

International Standards and Recommended Practices

Annex 1 - Personnel Licensing

Annex 2 - Rules of the Air

Annex 3 - Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation

Annex 4 - Aeronautical Charts

Annex 5 - Units of Measurement to be Used in Air and Ground Operations

Annex 6 - Operation of Aircraft

Annex 7 - Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks

Annex 8 - Airworthiness of Aircraft

Annex 9 - Facilitation

Annex 10 - Aeronautical Telecommunications

Annex 11 - Air Traffic Services

Annex 12 - Search and Rescue

Annex 13 - Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation

Annex 14 - Aerodromes

Annex 15 - Aeronautical Information Services

Annex 16 - Environmental Protection

Annex 17 - Security

Annex 18 - The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air

Annex 19 - Safety Management

The Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme

The North Atlantic Ocean Stations Agreement

The Technical Co-operation Programme - Projects (MODIFIED)


                            ICAO Structure



The ICAO Assembly


The ICAO Secretariat

The President of the Council

The Secretary General

The Contracting States

The Regional Offices and the Regional Organization

The Air Navigation Commission (ANC)

The Air Transport Committee (ATC)

The Technical Co-operation Programme


                            ICAO Legal Services



The Chicago Convention

The First Years of the Legal Committee

The Warsaw System on Air Carriers Liability

The Rome Convention and its Modernization

Legal Instruments related to Aviation Security

Other International Legal Instruments


                            Regional Air Navigation (RAN) Meetings



1946: Cairo RAN Meeting

1946: Paris RAN Meeting

1947: Melbourne RAN Meeting

1948: New Delhi RAN Meeting

1950: Istanbul RAN Meeting

1951: Buenos Aires RAN Meeting

1953: Melbourne RAN Meeting (MODIFIED)

1953: Santa Cruz de Tenerife RAN Meeting

1954: Rhodes Special Middle East Communications Meeting

1955: Manila RAN Meeting

1956: Ciudad Trujillo RAN Meeting

1957: São Paulo RAN Meeting

1958-1985: Miscellaneous RAN Meetings (MODIFIED)


                            ICAO Attributes



The Edward Warner Award

The Laurel Award

The International Civil Aviation Day

The ICAO Flag

The PICAO Bulletin, and ICAO Bulletin and Journal

The ICAO Museum


                            Relations with UN Organizations



ICAO and the United Nations

Admission to the United Nations

ICAO and the International Labour Organization (ILO)

ICAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

ICAO and the International Maritime Organization (IMO)

ICAO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

ICAO and the Universal Postal Union (UPU)

ICAO and the World Health Organization (WHO)

ICAO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

ICAO and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)


                            Partners in International Civil Aviation



ACI - Airports International Council

ASECNA - Agence pour la sécurité de la navigation aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar

CANSO - Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation

Civil Aviation Commissions

COCESNA - Corporación Centroamericana de Servicios de Navegación Aérea

ECAC - European Civil Aviation Conference


FAI - Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

IAOPA - International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations

IATA - International Air Transport Association

IBAC - International Business Aviation Council

ICCAIA - International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations

IFALPA - International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations

IFATCA - International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations

ITF - International Transport Workers’ Federation

SITA - Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques


                            Assembly Sessions



The First Assembly Sessions

Sessions of the Assembly (from 9th to 15th)

Sessions of the Assembly (from 16th to 29th)

Sessions of the Assembly (from 30th to the latest)


                            Large Conferences or Meetings



The Air Navigation Conferences

The Air Transport Conferences

Conferences on the Economics of Airports and Air Navigation Services





The Permanent Site of the Organization

The First Permanent Accommodation (1949)

The Second Permanent Accommodation (1975)

The Third Permanent Accommodation (1996)





The Early Emblems

The First Official Emblem

The Second Official Emblem

The Third and Current Official Emblem

Extensions of ICAO Emblem






The 10th Anniversary Commemorated by the United Nations (MODIFIED)

The 10th Anniversary Commemorated by Canada (MODIFIED)

The 20th Anniversary

The 30th Anniversary

The 30th Anniversary of ICAO and the Confusion with the 75th Anniversary of the First Powered Flight

The 35th Anniversary

The 40th Anniversary (MODIFIED)

The 50th Anniversary

The 60th Anniversary

The 65th Anniversary

The 70th Anniversary





International Exhibition of Air Mail Postage - 1969

Exhibition Commemorating of the 75th Anniversary of First Powered Flight - 1978 (MODIFIED)

Canadian Philatelic Exhibition - CAPEX 78

Philatelic Exhibition on Aviation - 1994

Miscellaneous Philatelic Exhibitions


                            Errors in the ICAO Philatelic Collection




Errors in the Name of the Organization

Errors in the Acronym of the Organization

Errors in the Emblem of the Organization

Other Flaws in the Emblems

Errors in the Texts

Errors in the Philatelic Notices

Errors in the Manufacturing Process

Errors in the Dates

Improper Issues


                            Aviation History




The Desire to Fly in the Mythology

The Early Endeavours

Human Flights with Balloons

The Scientific Visionaries or those Men before the Wrights

Achieving the Dream

Early Developments in Europe

The First Practical Aircraft

Attracted by Water

The Conquest of the Channel

Women in Aviation

Flying First Over the Alps


                            Stamp Issues Related to ICAO



Introduction (with full list of issues sorted by country name)

The language of stamp and cover collecting

Issues before 1945 (Predecessors)

Issues from 1945 to 1977

Issues from 1978 to 1983

Issues from 1984 to 1985 - 40th Anniversary of ICAO

Issues from 1986 to 1993

Issues from 1994 to 1995 - 50th Anniversary of ICAO

Issues from 1996 to 2013

Issues from 2014 - 70th anniversary of ICAO


                            The Commemorative Covers





                            Small Collectibles Beside Philately





                            Philatelic Articles



ICAO Bulletin - June 1980

ICAO Bulletin - November 1984

ICAO Bulletin - December 1995

The Canadian Connection

ICAO Tie-Ins


Additional information on the topic of The Postal History of ICAO can be found by clicking on the following link:

The Postal History of ICAO (ISBN: 978-2-920904-37-8; PDF file).