Milestones in International Civil Aviation



1916 The First Conference of Pan-American Aeronautics, held in Santiago of Chile, recommends to the American Republics that consideration be given to the necessity to unify their aerial legislation, so as to formulate an international air code.
1919 The Farman Company of France carries out the first international commercial flight between Paris and London in a Farman F.60 Aerobus Goliath airplane. This twelve-passenger biplane, a converted military aircraft, was one of the largest aircraft in commercial service for some years.


Sustained passenger services were introduced by the Farman Company later in 1919 between Paris and Brussels, and shortly afterward Copenhagen, London and North Africa were included in their schedule.



Representatives of five air transport companies from Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and Sweden meet at The Hague, Netherlands, to sign an agreement to form the International Air Traffic Association (IATA).


Initial goals were to help airlines standardize their paperwork and passenger tickets and to compare technical procedures.



The first truly international agreement on civil aviation is reached when the Convention Relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation is signed on 13 October 1919 at the Peace Conference held in Paris under the auspices of the League of Nations.


The Paris Convention laid down preliminary technical standards for international civil aviation and established the International Commission on Air Navigation (ICAN) – considered by some as the forerunner to ICAO.


This agreement was later superseded by the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944.

1925 The First International Conference of Private Air Law is convened in Paris to examine the question of the responsibility for the airlines and to undertake the immense work of codifying private air law. The final protocol of this Conference calls for the creation of a special committee of experts (la Comité International Technique d'Experts Juridiques Aériens; CITEJA).
1926 The Aircraft International Register (Registre International Aéronautique, AIR) is organized on the initiative of the Bureau Véritas.



The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) is founded in Vienna.



The Ibero-American Convention (also called the Madrid Convention) is created under the auspices of Spain, with Portugal and the States of Latin America. This convention differed from the Paris Convention in that it took separate account of the principle of the equal rights of its members.

1927 First International Air Post Congress at The Hague, Netherlands, initiated by USSR. The Conference results in an agreement that establishing airline companies as officially recognized carriers of mail at the maximum remuneration of 6 postal gold francs per metric tonne-kilogram. It also initiates some significant rules and regulations concerning the acceptance and rapid delivery of airmail by the signatory powers, the expeditious handling of airmail by countries without air services, and the basis of accounting procedures for international airmail.


The International Radio Convention meets in Washington, D.C. During sessions that lasted into November, participants secure international agreements on the use of certain frequencies by aircraft and airway control stations.

1928 The Pan American Convention on Commercial Aviation (Havana Convention) is signed in Havana, Cuba, on 20 February 1928, by the United States and twenty other States located in the Western Hemisphere.


This Convention applied exclusively to commercial aircraft and laid down basic principles and rules for aerial traffic, recognizing that every State has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory. The Havana Convention was superseded by the Chicago Convention of 1944, which remains in place today.



The International Civil Aeronautics Conference is held in Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to consider worldwide progress in the science and practice of civil aeronautics since the first power-driven flight, and to discuss ways and means of further developing it for the benefit of mankind.


It provides one of the earliest opportunities for an exchange of views on problems pertaining to aircraft in international commerce and trade, and suitably commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first flight of the Wright brothers.


It also streamline the way international airmail was prepaid and handled, as prior the rules for prepaying international airmail depended only on bilateral treaties.

1929 The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air is signed at Warsaw on 12 October 1929, and entered into force on 13 February 1933. This Convention established the conditions of international air transportation in respect of the documents used for such transportation and of the liability of the air carrier.
1933 The first International Sanitary Convention for Aerial Navigation is signed at The Hague (without a conference) to protect communities against diseases liable to be imported by aircraft and to protect flying personnel against diseases due to flying.



The Third International Conference on Private Air Law meets in Rome. It adopts the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to Damage Caused by Foreign Aircraft to Third Parties on the Surface and the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to the Precautionary Arrest of Aircraft.


The purpose of these conventions is to ensure adequate compensation for persons who suffer damage caused on the surface by foreign aircraft while limiting to a reasonable degree the extent of liabilities incurred for such damage in order not to hinder the development of international air transport.

1937 The Pan-American Conference at Lima in 1937 (from 15 to 25 September), establishes plans to create a Permanent American Aeronautical Commission (Comisión Aeronáutica Permanente Americana, CAPA), but its organization never materialized.


This Inter-American Technical Conference on Aviation (Primera Conferencia Técnica Interamericana de Aviación) was attended by 12 national delegations from within the hemisphere, with two observers from Europe; it was sponsored by the Pan-American Union.

1938 The Fourth International Conference on Private Air Law meet in Brussels. The conference adopts an Additional Protocol related to the Rome Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to Damage Caused by Foreign Aircraft to Third Parties on the Surface, signed on 29 May 1933, which permitted insurers to use some basic defenses. Both were superseded by the 1952 Rome Convention on the same subject.


Also adopted was the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to the Assistance and Rescue of Aircraft or by Aircraft at Sea.

1944 In response to the invitation of the United States Government, representatives of 54 nations meet at Chicago to "make arrangements for the immediate establishment of provisional world air routes and services" and "to set up an interim council to collect, record and study data concerning international aviation and to make recommendations for its improvement." The Conference is also invited to "discuss the principles and methods to be followed in the adoption of a new aviation convention."


The Convention on International Civil Aviation (also known as Chicago Convention), is later signed by 52 States at the end of the Chicago Conference in the Grand Ballroom of the Stevens Hotel, 7 December 1944.


The Chicago Convention eventually comes into force on 4 April 1947, superseding the Convention Relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation signed in Paris on 13 October 1919, and the Pan American Convention on Commercial Aviation signed at Havana on 20 February 1928. It provides the basic framework for the progressive, safe and orderly development of civil aviation on a global scale. Pursuant to the Conference's aim to setup a global interim council, the Convention also serves to establishes the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO; later simply 'ICAO' upon sufficient ratifications being received).

1945Pending ratification of the Chicago Convention by 26 States, the Interim Council meets and begins Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) activities.
1946The Comité International Technique d'Experts Juridiques Aériens (CITEJA) recommends that a Committee on International Air Law be established within ICAO.
1947An agreement between the newly-created United Nations and ICAO recognizes the Organization's status as a Specialized Agency responsible for taking such action as may be appropriate under its basic instrument, the Chicago Convention. As of this date ICAO was officially part of the UN family of organizations.
1948 Adoption by the ICAO Council of the first set of Standards and Recommended Practices relating to Personnel Licensing (Annex 1 to the Convention), Rules of the Air (Annex 2), Meteorological Codes (Annex 3), Aeronautical Charts (Annex 4) and Dimensional Units for Air-Ground Communications (Annex 5).



The Convention on the International Recognition of Rights in Aircraft, also known as the Geneva Convention, is adopted in the 2nd Session of the ICAO Assembly. It is the first result of ICAO's work in the field of air law.

1949 Adoption by the ICAO Council of the Standards and Recommended Practices relating to Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks (Annex 7).



Adoption by the ICAO Council of the Standards and Recommended Practices relating to the Facilitation of International Air Transport (Annex 9).



The first meeting is convened by ICAO to standardize the activities of States in the dissemination of aeronautical information.


Its principal results are the development of a draft set of Procedures for Air Navigation Services - Aeronautical Information Services (PANS-AIS), governing the promulgation and dissemination of Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) over the international aeronautical telecommunication service.


Also codified are recommendations for the future handling of aeronautical information problems.

1950 Adoption by the ICAO Council of the Standards and Recommended Practices relating to Air Traffic Services (Annex 11) and Search and Rescue (Annex 12).
1951 Adoption by the ICAO Council of the Standards and Recommended Practices relating to Aircraft Accident Inquiry (Annex 13), Aerodromes (Annex 14).


A new ICAO alphabet is implemented (Annex 10) for Aeronautical Telecommunications in civil aviation.

1952 An amended Convention on Damage Caused by Foreign Aircraft to Third Parties on the Surface is adopted and signed to unify, on an international level, the law relating to recovery by persons who suffer damage caused on the surface by foreign aircraft, while limiting the liabilities of those responsible for such damage.


The Convention also deals with a host of related matters such as apportionment of claims, financial security requirements, jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments. The Convention of 1952 was further revised by the Montreal Protocol of 1978, involving sixteen main amendments to the Convention, including an increase in the liability limits expressed in Special Drawing Rights.


The ICAO Air Navigation Commission is established to assist the ICAO Council with its assessments of technical materials and policies.


Adoption by the ICAO Council of the Standards and Recommended Practices relating to Aeronautical Information Services to the Convention for the promulgation of information essential to the safety, regularity and efficiency of air navigation (Annex 15).


The Conference on Co-ordination of Air Transport in Europe (CATE), is formally constituted by ICAO.

1955 In November 1955, the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), with its headquarters at Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, was established at the initiative of the Council of Europe and with the active support of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).


The principal objectives of ECAC are to promote the continued development of a safe, efficient and sustainable European air transport system and to harmonize civil aviation policies and practices among its Member States.


ECAC's creation was partially facilitated through earlier discussions at the 1954 Strasbourg Conference on the Coordination of Transport in Europe.


A Diplomatic Conference is held in The Hague, the Netherlands, to review and update the liability provisions of the Warsaw Convention of 1929, relating to international carriage by air, in the light of the rapid expansion of air transport services throughout the world and the prevailing economic conditions.


The Conference agreed to double the limit of liability for each passenger to about USD 20,000, and substantially simplified the rules pertaining to the documents of carriage, i.e., passenger ticket, baggage check and air waybill.


The agreed additions and amendments to the Warsaw Convention, contained in The Hague Protocol and signed on 28 September 1955, came into force on 1 August 1963.

1956 The final version of ICAO alphabet (printed in Annex 10, volume II, Chapter 5) is implemented by ICAO. It is adopted by many other international and national organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).


The Multilateral Agreement on Commercial Rights of Non-Scheduled Air Services in Europe is opened for signature. This provides liberal access for certain categories of non-scheduled operations (ECAC).

1958U.S. President Eisenhower signs the Federal Aviation Act, which transfers the United States' Civil Aeronautics Authority's functions to a new independent Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), responsible for civil aviation safety.
1959 The Convention establishing the Agency for the Safety of Aerial Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) is signed at Saint-Louis, Senegal.


The principal ASECNA objectives are to provide professional air traffic control, flight information, aeronautical telecommunication and meteorological services to its fifteen African Member States, with the active involvement of the French Government, so as to ensure the safety and efficient operation of air traffic throughout the West African region and Madagascar.


In 1972, ASECNA receives the prestigious ICAO Edward Warner Award for the efficiency and quality of air navigation services provided within the region, covering a total airspace of some 8 million square kilometres and twenty-four international airports.

1960 A Multilateral Agreement relating to Certificates of Airworthiness for Imported Aircraft is established to cover the import of aircraft spare parts, engines, etc. All-weather operations, mutual recognition of private pilot licenses and the performance characteristics of airborne navigation and communications equipment are amongst other issues considered is opened for signature (ECAC).



The Convention on European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, commonly called EUROCONTROL is signed in Brussels, Belgium, by six European States (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom). Its purpose is to develop a coherent and coordinated air traffic control system in Europe.

1961 The Guadalajara Convention of 1961, relating to international carriage by air performed by a person other than the contracting carrier, supplementary to the Warsaw Convention of 1929, is signed on 18 September.
1963 The Tokyo Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft is signed in Tokyo, Japan, on 14 September. It lays out internationally-accepted principles as to the immediate release of all aircraft, passengers and crew in the event of unlawful interference of aircraft.
1964SLM's international activities start as a pool agreement is made between KLM, ALM and SLM to jointly operate the route between Paramaribo and Curacao, with stops at Georgetown (Guyana) and Port of Spain (Trinidad) (Surinam Airways)
1967The 'International Agreement on the Procedure for the Establishment of Tariffs for Scheduled Air Services' is opened for signature (ECAC)
1968 The International Conference of Plenipotentiary Representatives, held in Buenos Aires from 9 to 24 September, adopts the Protocol on the Authentic Trilingual Textof the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago, 1944).
1969 The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) is conceived by the Constitutive Conference convened by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) held at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the constitution is adopted.
1970 The Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft is signed in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 16 December. It contains detailed provisions on the establishment of jurisdiction by States over the offense, on the taking of the offender into custody, and on the prosecution or extradition of the offender.
1971 The Guatemala City Protocol of 1971 is signed in Guatemala City on 8 March. It adopts a far-reaching revision of those provisions of the Warsaw Convention of 1929, as amended by The Hague Protocol of 1955, which pertain to the liability of the air carrier in respect of the international carriage of passengers and baggage.


The Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation is signed in Montreal on 23 September. It defines a wide spectrum of unlawful acts against the safety of civil aviation which ICAO member States undertake to make punishable by severe penalties.

1972 ICAO Annex 16—Environmental Protection to the Chicago Convention, containing International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) relating to aircraft noise and aircraft engine emissions, becomes applicable on 6 January.
1975 The new ICAO Annex 17—Security—Safeguarding International Civil Aviation against Acts of Unlawful Interference to the Chicago Convention, containing International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) on a wide range of security aspects, enters into force.

Concerned about the growing threat of violence against international civil aviation and its facilities, including unlawful seizure of aircraft, the ICAO Council had adopted the new Security-related SARPs in 1974, subsequent to the results which emerged from an Extraordinary Session of the ICAO Assembly which had been convened on this topic in June 1970.



A Diplomatic Conference is convened by ICAO to review and update the provisions of the Warsaw Convention of 1929, as amended by The Hague Protocol of 1955. Four Protocols were adopted and signed which increased the carrier's limit of liability to SDR (Special Drawing Rights) 100,000 (about USD 130,000) per passenger in international carriage by air, and considerably simplified the documentary requirements relating to international cargo traffic.

1977 In conjunction with the 22nd Session of the ICAO Assembly, held in Montreal from 19 to 30 September 1977, an International Conference on Air Law adopts the Protocol on the Authentic Quadrilingual Text of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago 1944). This embodies the Russian text of the Chicago Convention and puts the Russian language on par with the other languages of the Organization, i.e., English, French and Spanish. The Protocol was opened for signature on 30 September 1977 and came into force on 16 September 1999.
1978 A Diplomatic Conference held at ICAO HQ Montreal, known as the Montreal Protocol, modifies the Rome Convention on Damage Caused by Foreign Aircraft to Third Parties on the Surface of 1952, which simplified the Convention and adjusted the limits of liability.



The introduction of the Airline Deregulation Act in the United States, which removed statutory control on domestic airline operations at the end of 1978, leads to fundamental changes in the structure of domestic, as well as international air services. Similar steps to liberalize air transport services are henceforth taken by other industrialized countries.

1980 Following the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 relating to U.S. domestic air services, the United States Congress passes the International Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 early in 1980. This starts the process of new bilateral air transport agreements with a number of foreign governments, increases competition in international air transportation, and initiates to a more pronounced extent the global privatization of airlines and airports.



The Second ICAO Air Transport Conference, held in Montreal from 12 to 28 February, formulates common and multilateral approaches to solving worldwide capacity regulation of international commercial air services and the mechanisms for establishing international fares and rates.


This Conference, inter alia, called for the continuance of multilateral (albeit, more liberalized) solutions in response, primarily, to an open skies policy then being introduced by the United States. While ICAO had been founded to deal essentially with the technical issues and problems of international civil aviation, this conference signified its new involvement in the economic and commercial fields in light of the widening impacts of sectoral deregulation.

1981 At an ICAO Worldwide Communications Conference, held at Montreal in April 1981, standards were developed for the new Microwave Landing System (MLS). MLS will provide multiple, curved and segmented approaches and selectable glide angles—capabilities not previously available.


In the light of rapid technological developments, ICAO convened a Special Communications/Operations (COM/OPS) Divisional Meeting in the spring of 1995, which addressed all major principles of air navigation and recommended a global strategy for implementation of non-visual aids to approach and landing operations over the next 20 years.

1984 The new ICAO Annex 18—The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air to the Chicago Convention becomes applicable on 1 January.



The 25th Session (Extraordinary) of the ICAO Assembly approves unanimously in Resolution A25-1 an amendment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation incorporating an explicit recognition that the use of weapons against civil aircraft is prohibited.

1987 ICAO adopts a new standard, as part of ICAO Annex 17—Security to the Chicago Convention requiring that all airlines of Member States must ensure that, for international flights, no baggage is transported on the aircraft unless the person who owns it is also on board or has been subjected to security control. This measure is intended to counter sabotage risks involving checked baggage.
1988 A new Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports, which supplements the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation (Montreal, 1971), is adopted by consensus and opened for signature at the International Conference on Air Law at ICAO headquarters in Montreal.
1991 The Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection is adopted by the International Conference on Air Law, held in Montreal from 12 February to 1 March, under the auspices of ICAO. This Convention is aimed at contributing to the prevention of unlawful acts involving the use of plastic explosives.

In the history of law-making at ICAO, this Convention represents a significant landmark not only for the speed of its preparation, but for the fact that it is the first multilateral instrument prepared through the ICAO machinery whose applicability and impact is not limited to international civil aviation.



The ICAO Council adopts the Code of Conduct for the Regulation and Operation of Computer Reservation Systems to ensure that computer reservation systems (CRSs) are used in a fair, non-discriminatory and transparent manner. The principal objectives of the CRS Code of Conduct are: to avoid the misuse of these systems and unfair competition between airlines; to protect the interests of the consumers of air transport services; and to encourage increasing participation by developing nations' airlines in CRS activities.

1992 An ICAO Worldwide Air Transport Colloquium on the theme of Exploring the Future of International Air Transport Regulation is held in Montreal. More than 500 participants acknowledge that ICAO—given its unique role and responsibility for international civil aviation at the global level—should be the prime organization to coordinate developments and to take an appropriate role in efforts at increased multilateralism for international air services.


The Colloquium provides a framework and basis for the Fourth ICAO Worldwide Air Transport Conference held in 1994, and identifies a need for ICAO to develop future regulatory arrangements that would effectively support the rapidly changing requirements and conditions of international air transport.



The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), commonly known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, adopts an intergovernmental Convention on the reduction of global warming by placing limits on all greenhouse gas emissions.



The 29th Session of the ICAO Assembly endorses a blueprint for a global satellite-based Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/ Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system concept to replace existing line-of-sight systems. At the same time, air traffic control systems around the world were begin to be updated as part of the evolution process to a global ATM system.

1995 In conjunction with the 31st Session of the ICAO Assembly, an International Conference on Air Law adopts the Protocol on the Authentic Quinquelingual Textof the Convention on International Civil Aviation. This embodies the Arabic text of the Chicago Convention and brings about the utilization of the Arabic language in ICAO on the same level as the other languages of the Organization, i.e., English, French, Spanish and Russian.
1997 ICAO officially launches its first-ever Strategic Action Plan at a large gathering of representatives of ICAO Member States and staff at its headquarters in Montreal. The new plan, developed over a period of several years, is the first comprehensive re-evaluation of ICAO's mission since it was created in 1944. It re-positions ICAO to deal more effectively with the constantly evolving challenges facing civil aviation, particularly in the area of flight safety and security.


At the launch ceremony, Dr. Assad Kotaite, President of the ICAO Council, underlined the importance of ICAO's Strategic Action Plan and emphasized that in civil aviation, globalization, commercialization of government services providers, liberalization of economic regulation, increasing environmental controls and the emergence of new technologies, all have significant implications for safety and security. Dr. Kotaite also stressed that addressing these issues effectively requires an unprecedented level of cooperation among countries and a corresponding level of global coordination that extends beyond borders.



European Ministers of Transport sign the revised and modernized Convention governing the new organizational structure, functions and modus operandi of EUROCONTROL—European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation. Following ratification by governments concerned, it replaces the Convention drawn up by the original eight Member States in 1960 and provide the legal basis for the future strategy agreed upon in February 1997 by thirty-six Member States of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC).

1998 The first ICAO Worldwide Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems Implementation Conference is held in Rio de Janeiro.


The objective of this unique ICAO Conference is to bring together all partners in the worldwide implementation of CNS/ATM systems around two main issues, i.e., the financing mechanisms and the institutional frameworks required to move the projects forward.


The Conference produces a range of recommendations to facilitate the early and successful implementation of the CNS/ATM systems concept, notably as regards the financial, management, legal, technical cooperation and training aspects.



In conjunction with the 32nd Session of the ICAO Assembly, an International Conference on Air Law adopts the Protocol on the Authentic Six-Language Textof the Convention on International Civil Aviation. This embodies the Chinese text of the Chicago Convention and puts the Chinese language on par with the other languages of the Organization, i.e., English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.

1999 In January 1999, ICAO officially established its Safety Oversight Audit Unit which brought into effect the Organization's Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP). The USOAP included a systematic reporting and monitoring system on the implementation of safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and continues its audit cycles to this day, serving as an essential component in the global aviation safety framework.



A historic ICAO International Diplomatic Conference on Air Law was held in Montreal, with the goal of modernizing the Warsaw Convention System that dates back to 1929 and provides low compensation limits for victims of air accidents. There was also a definite need to simplify the documentary requirements related to passengers, baggage and cargo and so as to take advantage of modern information technologies.


The Conference adopted a new Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, to replace the 70 year-old system comprising six different international legal instruments of private international law, and to provide, for years to come, an adequate level of compensation for those involved in international air accidents.


A major feature of the new legal instrument is the concept of unlimited liability in the case of death or injury to passengers, which introduces a two-tier system. The first tier provides for strict liability up to 100,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a figure equivalent to about USD 135,000, irrespective of the carrier's fault. The second tier is based on presumption of fault of the carrier and has no limit of liability. The Convention also simplifies the system of claims for lost, damaged, destroyed or delayed baggage and cargo.


At the end of this historic Conference, a total of 52 ICAO Member States signed the Convention, which required ratification by thirty ICAO Contracting States before its entry into force. When this occurred on 4 November 2003, ICAO Council President Assad Kotaite had remarked:


"In developing the new Montreal Convention, we were able to reach a delicate balance between the needs and interests of all partners in international civil aviation: States, the traveling public, air carriers and the transport industry. Victims of international air accidents and their families will be better protected and compensated under the new Montreal Convention, which modernizes and consolidates a seventy-five year old system of international instruments of private international law into one legal instrument."

2001 A Diplomatic Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa under the auspices of ICAO and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), adopts a new Convention, formally called International Interests in Mobile Equipment and a Protocol to the Convention on Matters specific to Aircraft Equipment.


The Convention and Protocol provide for the financing and leasing of aircraft equipment and the creation of an international registry for international security rights in aircraft, aircraft engines and helicopters. The new legal instrument sets up a system of rules designed to facilitate asset-based financing and leasing of aircraft and to enhance the availability of credit to air carriers at a lower cost.





The 11th of September 2001 marks a turning point in international civil aviation, when a group of suicide terrorists hijacks four commercial jetliners – two American Airlines and two United Airlines Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft. Two of these aircraft were flown into and deliberately destroyed the World Trade Center Towers in New York, one hit and deliberately destroyed part of the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and the fourth aircraft crashed in a field near Pittsburgh, PA, evidently after some passengers tried to apprehend the terrorists.


As a result of these terrorist acts, 214 passengers and 33 crewmembers were killed on the four aircraft (excluding 19 perpetrators). In addition, 2,658 and 125 innocent civilians, representing many nationalities, lost their lives at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, respectively, causing great human suffering and incredible devastation. This tragic event symbolized, for the first time since the dawn of the aviation age nearly 100 years ago, the first use of civil aircraft as weapons of mass destruction.


In his address to the 33rd Session of the ICAO General Assembly, held in Montreal in October 2001, Dr. Assad Kotaite, President of the ICAO Council, stated:


"These terrorist attacks represent the greatest threat ever to civil aviation security…" and that "…it will be ICAO's primary objective to identify the means by which this new threat can be eradicated and public confidence can be restored in an aviation system that remains fundamentally safe, secure and efficient."


The ICAO 33rd Assembly unanimously adopted a Resolution to hold accountable with severity those who misuse civil aircraft as weapons of destruction, including those responsible for organizing such acts or for aiding, supporting or harboring the perpetrators. Furthermore, the Assembly directed the ICAO Council to convene as soon as possible an international High-level Conference on Aviation Security, with the objective of preventing, combating and eradicating acts of terrorism against civil aviation.


The Assembly and the ICAO Council also recognized that the fight against terrorism is an incredibly complex and arduous task, involving an enormous diversity of unforeseeable events. It was furthermore acknowledged by participants that it would require a global effort and the cooperation of all ICAO Member States to ensure continued aviation safety and the effective security of international and domestic civil aviation.


The events of 11 September, 2001 brought about major and far-reaching changes in the operating environment of the air transport industry. With airlines and airports now adapting to the impact on security, revenues and costs, the industry focus moved more than ever on providing maximum safety and security to the users of the world air transport system.

2002 Pursuant to the events of September 11, 2001, an historic High-level Ministerial Conference on Aviation Security, held at ICAO headquarters in Montreal on 19 and 20 February 2002, endorses a global strategy for strengthening aviation security worldwide.


The Conference agrees on a comprehensive action plan in response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and affirms that a globally-effective aviation security system imposes a collective responsibility on all ICAO Member States.


At the heart of the global strategy was the introduction of mandatory security oversight audits to evaluate the ability of States to regulate their respective domains on the basis of applicable ICAO Security Standards. The main objectives of the new programme, like the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) launched in 1999, is to identify and correct deficiencies in the implementation of acceptable standards.

2009 A Special Group working on the modernization of the Rome Convention develops two draft Conventions:

1) The Convention on Compensation for Damage to Third Parties, Resulting from Acts of Unlawful Interference Involving Aircraft;


2) The Convention on Compensation for Damage Caused by Aircraft to Third Parties.


These two drafts are considered and adopted at the International Conference on Air Law on Compensation for Damage Caused by Aircraft to Third Parties Arising from Acts of Unlawful Interference or from General Risks, held at Montreal.

2010 The Diplomatic Conference on Aviation Security in Beijing adopts two international air law instruments for the suppression of unlawful acts relating to civil aviation: the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation (prevailing over the above-mentioned Montréal Convention of 23 September 1971 and the Protocol done at Montréal on 23 September 1971 and signed on 24 February 1988) and the Protocol Supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (supplementing the above-mentioned Convention signed at The Hague on 16 December 1970).



ICAO signs a memoranda of cooperation providing a framework for enhanced cooperation with various regional commissions and organizations, including but not limited to the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC),  the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), and the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC).

2013 ICAO Member States adopt the first new Annex to the Chicago Convention in more than 30 years. The new Annex 19—Safety Management. The new Annex supports ICAO's global safety strategy, which calls for improved standardization, increased collaboration among aviation stakeholders, new information-sharing initiatives, and prioritizing investments in technical and human resources required to ensure safe operations.


Annex 19 also supports an industry-wide evolution towards a new and less punitive safety management culture, one which encourages more frequent and accurate reporting on safety accidents and incidents to aid current and future aviation safety risk mitigation.


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