THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

Medals

 

BRAZIL

 

Representatives of fifteen Contracting States and three international organizations met to reassess the operational requirements of the SAM/SAT Region in the light of the problems associated with the introduction of new types of turbine propelled and turbine jet powered aircraft as well as the increasing flow of traffic. After a four-week session, the second SAM/SAT Regional Meeting adjourned on 16 November 1957, having adopted a revised regional plan covering every aspect of air navigation in South America and over South Pacific.

 

The medal shown here-below, with a diameter of 36mm, was struck on Brazilian colonial copper for the Philatelic and Numismatic Club of Santos, in relation with SANPEX, i.e. Santos Philatelica Exposicao (i.e. Santos Philatelic Exhibition), and commemorates the inauguration of the Museum Santos Dumont and the second SAM/SAT Meeting.

 

 

 

Obverse: Second South American/South Atlantic Regional Air Navigation (SAM/SAT) Meeting. Held in the Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo, from 22 October to 16 November 1957.

More information on this meeting can be obtained by clicking on the following link: 1957: São Paulo Regional air navigation meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reverse: Inauguration of the Museum Santos Dumont, in the city of Santos, state of São Paulo, during the Semana da Asa (Week of the Wing, which commemorated Santos-Dumont's first flight and was organized by the Forca Aerea Brasileira - FAB) in October 1957.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS New York

 

1. AVIATION SAFE PASSAGE (1971)

In the years since 1968, the number of aircraft hijackings rose to very serious proportions. The total was further enlarged by politically-motivated acts of sabotage against aircraft and passengers, both in the air and on the ground. It is to remind that,

  1. On 24 November 1968, Pan Am Flight 281 (Boeing 707) was scheduled from JFK International Airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico; it was hijacked by 4 men from JFK airport to Havana, Cuba;
  2. On 6 September 1970, two men hijacked Pan Am flight 93, a Boeing 747–121 (which departed Brussels) route from Amsterdam to New York, as part of the Dawson's Field hijackings; the flight diverted to Beirut International Airport to take on board seven other gang members for the next leg to Cairo International Airport, where the hijackers ordered the aircraft evacuated and destroyed it with explosives. Note that the aircraft flew to Cairo instead of Dawson’s Field (a remote desert airstrip in Jordan, formerly a British Royal Air Force base), because the Jordan airfield was considered too small to accommodate a 747.

 

As a result of the numerous hijackings in those days, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) was obliged to devote a major part of its efforts and resources to what had become its number one problem requiring a combined assault by governments through ICAO, by IATA and by IAFALPA.

 

The series of skyjacking incidents, several of them desperate and dramatic, was a great and particular concern for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA, Member of IFALPA, the largest airline pilot union in the world representing pilots from U.S. and Canadian airlines); ALPA sought an innovative step and an extraordinarily direct method to intensively lobby influential politicians from all over the world, as the fundamental problem in advancing a solution to the skyjacking problem laid in the realm of politics. A Boeing 747 sponsored by ALPA was rented from Pan Am and nearly 300 United Nations personnel flew on Saturday 6 November 1971 on a short international flight from New York to Montréal, being the home of ICAO; the aircraft was piloted by Captain Stanley L. Doepke of Pan Am. More than 30 crewmembers who had been skyjacked placed these world political leaders in a controlled and dramatic situation where they could hear their stories. All the international politicians from the UN General Assembly who accepted ALPA’s hospitality on the Montréal excursion went home vowing immediate action by their countries. A special first day cover was issued to commemorate this unique event and a medal was given to the UN Delegates.

 

 

 

 

 

United Nations bronze medal. Marked on one side 'NEW YORK-NOVEMBER 6, 1971-MONTREAL / IN FLIGHT WITH THE UNITED NATIONS' and on the other 'AVIATION SAFE PASSAGE THROUGH INTERNATIONAL LAW'.

It measures 2½" in diameter x 3/16" thick.

The UN Diplomats were urged by pilots and crewmembers who arranged the trip to Montréal to bring about universal ratification of three international treaties designed to deal with attacks against aircraft:

  1. The 1963 Tokyo Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft;
  2. The 1970 The Hague Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft; and
  3. The 1971 Montréal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation.

 

The guests of the UN flight (6 November 1971) heard a strong appeal for international legislation and the symbols shown on the medal mean support for international skyjacking treaties: The world (circle) requires more (+) treaties (T).

 

 

2. SAFETY IN THE AIR (1978)

During the 1970’s and the 1980’s, the United Nations issued annually five commemorative medals with first day cancellations for specific events (as part of a UN Medallic First Day Cover program, held in one album per year). The issue was low mintage and all medals were proof quality struck in sterling silver. Specially designed covers, bearing the medal and the matching UN commemorative stamp, were officially cancelled on the first day of issue.

 

The year 1978 celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first engined-powered flight by the Wright Brothers. This occasion prompted the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) to issue on 12 June 1978 two sets of stamps (with US and Swiss denominations) to praise ICAO’s achievements over the past three decades; the subject of the issue was Safety in the Air.  The medal, in sterling silver, proof strike, measures 38mm (1.5” inches) in diameter and was sculptured by Ronald Hower and struck by the Flanklin Mint (Mint mark: "FM").

 

 

 

 

The obverse depicts two jet planes streaking across the sky as symbols of the many thousands safely flying the international routes.

 

 

 

 

The reverse shows the United Nations emblem. The outside circle shows the UN name in five languages (Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).

 

 

 

 

First Day Cover – United Nations - 12 June 1978 – Safety in the air

The cacheted envelope houses the silver medal in protective plastic with the UN stamp tied to the envelope with an official First Day of Issue cancel of 12 June 1978. The matching stamp of the First Day Cover is the 13-cent stamp issued by the UNPA on 12 June 1978.

 

Reverse of the above First Day Cover. Certificate of authenticity signed by Clayton C. Timbrell, Assistant Secretary General, and Ole Hamann, third Chief United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA).

_________________________