Afghanistan : 40th Anniversary of ICAO


Issue date: 29/06/1984



Antonov AN‑2 ‘Colt’ biplane.


Ilyushin IL‑12.


Tupolev TU‑104A.


Ilyushin IL‑18 ‘Coot’.


Yakovlev Yak‑42 ‘Clober’.


Tupolev TU‑154 ‘Careless’.


Ilyushin IL‑86 ‘Camber’.

Cancelled to Order (CTO).




For each stamp, a proof mounted on card exists. Apparently, only 10 to 12 of each exist. Approved by Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga (Международная Книга) in Moscow (i.e. sign of the USSR’s assistance/presence in Afghanistan in those days). Embossed frame around the stamp; embossed text at the center-low.



First Day Covers. The imprint shows: 40-e ANNIVERSAIRE DE LA AVIATION; it should been written more rightly: 40e ANNIVERSAIRE DE L’AVIATION.

Although the stamps were issued on 29 July 1984 (here printed in the form 29o-06-84), some first day cancels show 2 July 1984, printed in the form: 02o-07-84.

Two first cancels were used: KABOUL – 111 and KABOUL 115, most likely in different post offices.

Aircraft in the cachet could be:

1.     The biplane: a World War 1 vintage plane, maybe a Sopwith Camel or something along those lines; 

2.    The airliner: any two-engined aircraft, Boeing or Airbus; and 

3.    The high-wing monoplane: looks a little like a Cessna L-19.





Background: There is no reference (in the form of name or emblem) to ICAO on this set. The text 40e ANNIVERSAIRE DE L'AVIATION (in French) is printed on all the stamps of this issue; thus, the full name in French of the Organization is missing (i.e. ORGANISATION DE L’AVIATION CIVILE INTERNATIONALE). It is interesting to note that Afghanistan used French language for this issue; English is also used for the first day covers.

It is to be noted that:

1.     Ariana Afghan Airlines Co. Ltd. was established on 27 January 1955, and is the oldest and the national airline of Afghanistan. Ariana Airlines would have reached its 30th anniversary in 1985.

2.    The history of the Afghan air service began on 22 August 1924 as the Afghan Air Force and reached its 60th anniversary in 1984.

3.    Although a Civil Aviation Department in Afghanistan was established in 1953, the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) was established in October 2012.

As none of these events could celebrate a 40th anniversary in 1984, it is considered that this issue commemorates in fact the 40th anniversary of ICAO.