What we do

Strengthening of civil aviation institutions through CDI projects

Self-sufficiency of developing countries in the aviation field is a major objective for CDI, where the improvement of their aeronautical infrastructure and services and environment protection is expected to bring better human, social and economic conditions. In focusing on the strengthening of civil aviation institutions, our goal is to enable States to better face the continuously changing aviation environment. View a summary of our main objectives.


The Bureau advises and assists States in identifying and formulating country and inter-country programmes and project requests associated with the overall planning, preparation, execution and management of civil aviation-assisted projects financed by the State, and/or by third parties including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Trust Fund Agreements, international financial institutions, International Financial Facility for Aviation Safety (IFFAS), the private sector and other funding sources. The Bureau establishes and maintains a roster of qualified contractors and experts who can be rapidly deployed to meet project requirements.


As ICAO is the United Nations specialized agency for civil aviation, projects in civil aviation funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are entrusted to CDI for execution. CDI also carries out projects funded by developing countries themselves or by various funding institutions other than UNDP. For this work, ICAO receives administrative fees which are used to cover its cost of administering project activities.


ICAO assistance through CDI is also provided to non-State entities (public and private) to which the State has delegated the execution of aviation functions, such as airport authorities and air navigation service providers. In addition, the ICAO Assembly has expanded the provision of capacity development and implementation services, upon request, to third parties implementing projects in Contracting States in the area of civil aviation.


In accordance with ICAO Financial Regulations, the ICAO Capacity Development and Implementation Programme operates as an extra-budgetary activity, which must therefore be funded by external contributions provided by recipient governments, donor States, financing institutions and other development partners, including the aviation industry and the private sector, interested in participating in ICAO civil aviation capacity development and implementation projects.

What is a Capacity Development and Implementation Project?

Capacity development and implementation projects cover a wide range of subjects including: civil aviation master planning; human resource planning and development; administration and legislation; communication and navigation; aviation security; aviation meteorology; environmental aspects of airports; airworthiness and flight operations; safety management systems; aviation medicine; airport feasibility studies, construction and management; air traffic services; and introduction of the ICAO TRAINAIR methodology; as well as global and regional fellowship training programmes.

Project Categories

Within the United Nations system, projects are categorised by:

      • type of assistance
      • geopolitical classification
      • type of agreement or funding arrangement
Learn more about project categories and funding arrangements.

Project Components

The three main components of projects implemented by ICAO are:
      • Technology transfer through the recruitment and deployment of aviation experts at the field level;
      • Training through ICAO Fellowships awarded by donor states and training institutions;
      • Infrastructure development through the procurement of equipment, services, on-the-job training and related civil works for projects.

It is ICAO's policy that, when assisting States in the selection of experts, equipment and training establishments required for the implementation of a project, the final selection is left to the government. In this way, civil aviation authorities retain the freedom of choosing what they consider to be the best choice for achieving the desired project results. Still, as party of the contract, ICAO will defend the interests of the Government and ensure that all aspects of the contract are properly observed.

Recruitment and Deployment of Aviation Experts

ICAO maintains an active roster of over 3 000 international experts and more than 100 registered consultancy companies in virtually all fields of civil aviation, the recruitment of which is based on a worldwide selection process. The services of these experts are offered to States as short-term consultants, intermediate and long-term advisers, inspectors, instructors, or operational assistants (OPAS). OPAS assistants are recruited through ICAO but work directly for the government in an executive capacity. Furthermore, ICAO projects enhance local capabilities through the recruitment of qualified national experts. ICAO experts typically work together with national specialists to transfer their knowledge and, at the same time, provide on-the-job training. Learn more about our Field Personnel section.


Nearly all major ICAO projects contain a training component, be it classroom, on-the-job training, simulation, factory, regional seminars and/or fellowship training, on basic and advanced levels or in refresher courses. Such training may be arranged in-country or abroad, and ICAO provides the recipient State with the management of their fellowship training programme. Learn more about our Fellowships and training.


CDI expertise in field procurement will ensure that high-quality, ICAO standards and recommended practices (SARPs)-compliant equipment is acquired at the best price to meet specific requirements, either by providing a complete procurement service or by offering assistance during specific phases of the process, including the development of technical specifications; identification of sources of supply on a worldwide basis; calls for tenders, technical/financial evaluations; negotiations with suppliers on specifications, price and delivery; preparation, award and management of purchase orders/contracts; insurance and shipping arrangements; monitoring of final site acceptance, installation and commissioning of procured equipment, warranty administration. Learn more about Field Procurement

The Project Lifecycle

There are many steps involved in bringing a project from initial conception to a successful conclusion. CDI has developed a unique implementation framework which is designed to meet the needs of the ever-changing aviation environment. We have developed several templates and funding modalities on which your aviation project might be modelled. Our tried and tested methodology has been developed with the flexibility to cater for the many different scenarios encountered during implementation of aviation projects, large or small, throughout the world. Learn more about our implementation framework.

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