THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

The Chicago Convention

 

The Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, was signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944 and came into force on 4 April 1947, superseding the Convention relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation (or Paris Convention) signed at Paris on 13 October 1919 and the Pan American Convention on Commercial Aviation (or Havana Convention), signed at Havana on 20 February 1928. It contained the basic principles and arrangements in order that international civil aviation be developed in a safe and orderly manner, and that international air transport services be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically. The Chicago Convention also established the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

 

Font page of the original version of the Chicago Convention

Article 37 of the Chicago Convention requests that, in implementing the international standards and recommended practices and procedures adopted by ICAO, each Contracting State undertake to collaborate in securing the highest practicable degree of uniformity in regulations, standards, procedures, and organization in relation to aircraft, personnel, airways and auxiliary services in all matters in which such uniformity will facilitate and improve air navigation.

 

Article 94 of the Convention reads of follows: “Any proposed amendment to the Convention must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Assembly and shall then come into force in respect of States which have ratified such amendment when ratified by the number of contracting States specified by the Assembly.”

 

To the original document of the Chicago Convention, several amendments were adopted over the years; only the major ones are listed hereafter:

1.     Frequency of Assemblies (Article 48a). Originally, the Assembly met every year. This was amended by the Eighth Session of the Assembly in 14 June 1954 for the Assembly to meet not less than once in three years.

2.    Increase in the Council Members (Article 50a). Originally the Council was composed of twenty-one contracting States elected by the Assembly. This number was increased as follows:

a.    To twenty-seven, as amended by the 13th (Extraordinary) Session of the Assembly on 21 June 1961.

b.    To thirty, as amended by the 17th (A) (Extraordinary) Session of the Assembly on 12 March 1971.

c.    To thirty-three, as amended by the 21st Session of the Assembly on 16 October 1974.

d.    To thirty-six, as amended by the 28th (Extraordinary) Session of the Assembly on 26 October 1990.

3.    Increase in the Members of the Air Navigation Commission (ANC) (Article 56). Originally, the Air Navigation Commission shall be composed of twelve members appointed by the Council from among persons nominated by contracting States. This number was increased as follows:

a.    To fifteen, as amended by the 18th Session of the Assembly on 7 July 1971.

b.    To nineteen, as amended by the 27th Session of the Assembly on 6 October 1989.

4.    Authentic texts of the Convention, amended by several protocols:

a.    Trilingual text (text of the Convention drawn up in the English, French, and Spanish languages of equal authenticity), as per Protocol signed at Montreal on 24 September 1968.

b.    Quadrilingual text (text of the Convention drawn up in the English, French, Russian and Spanish languages of equal authenticity), as per Protocol signed at Montreal on 30 September 1977.

c.    Qinquelingual text (text of the Convention drawn up in the English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish languages of equal authenticity), as per Protocol signed at Montreal on 20 September 1995.

d.    Six-language text (text of the Convention drawn up in the English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish languages of equal authenticity), as per Protocol signed at Montreal on 1 October 1998.

 

Framed poster presented to ICAO by Mr. Albert Pelsser, staff member at ICAO, upon his retirement. Montage with the Postal Issues of the United Nations for ICAO’s work, with Preamble to the UN Charter.

 

Preamble to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (original version).

 

ICAO Doc 7300 – 1st  Edition of the Convention on International Civil Aviation,

signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944. Trilingual text: English/French/Spanish.

 

 ICAO Doc 7300 – 9th Edition of the Convention on International Civil Aviation - 2006.

Quadrilingual text: English/French/Spanish/Russian.

____________