The Edward Warner Award


Dr. Edward Pear­son Warner was one of the lead­ing figures in the development of civil aviation; he built a last­ing institu­tion, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), through the power derived from his vast knowledge, his extra­ordinary passion and his infinite caution in human contacts. The Edward Warner Award is the highest honour in the world of civil aviation conferred by ICAO and recognizes individuals or institutions for their outstanding contribution to the development of international civil aviation.


Edward Warner

Edward Warner (1894-1958) was an Ameri­can avi­ation pion­eer, educa­tor in aeronautical engin­eering, author, scientist and statesman. In 1944, he was Vice Chairman of the U.S. Civil Aero­nautics Board founded in 1938 and was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the 1944 Chicago Conference for the Convention on Interna­tional Civil Aviation, which founded the International Civil Aviation Organization on 7 December 1944.  The Convention enlisted the cooperation of nations through­out the world to assure the safe, orderly and economic develop­ment of international civil air transporta­tion.


Edward Warner Award

Honduras – 1987

25th Anniversary of COCESNA

In June 1945, Dr. Warner sat on the Cana­dian Pre­para­tory Commit­tee estab­lished to make the necess­ary arrange­ments for the first Interim Council of PICAO, the provisional organization pre­ceding ICAO.  On 17 August 1945 dur­ing the third meet­ing of the open­ing session of the Interim Council held in the Rose Room, Windsor Hotel, Montreal, he was elected as the first President of the Council of PICAO and then con­tinued as Presi­dent of the ICAO Council until his retirement on 18 April 1957.


On 12 October 1956, the city of Genoa, Italy, presented the Christopher Columbus International Communi­cations Prize of 5 million lire to ICAO for its efforts in the development of international co-operation in air transport. On 14 December 1956, the ICAO Council decided to use these funds to pay an official tribute to Dr. Warner upon his retirement from the posi­tion of President of the Council, this tribute to be known as the Edward Warner Award. The Award con­sists of a solid gold medal inscribed for the recipient and a cer­ti­ficate of recog­nition citing the reasons for the Award; it was established for presen­tation every two years until 1972, when it became an annual award. The Council of ICAO at the 14th meeting of its 168th Session, on 14 March 2003, decided to reduce the frequency of the Edward Warner Award to once every three years, if practicable in conjunction with the regular session of the Assembly of ICAO.


This chapter of history describes some of the Award's recipi­ents honoured in the philatelic field.


In 1961, the Fédération aéro­nautique inter­nationale (FAI), the earliest organization established to regulate international aspects of aviation, was given the second Edward Warner Award in recognition of its services to civil aviation since its beginning in 1905.  Founded with the aim of promoting and developing air sports in a spirit of friend­ship and co-oper­ation, the FAI celebrated its 90th anniver­sary in 1995.  The cover shown here after is part of the album “The History of Aviation First Day Cover Collection” (“La Collection d’Enveloppes Premier Jour de l’Histoire de L'Aviation”) containing 107 different first day covers, from all over the world, issued in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the first engine-powered flight, under the auspices of FAI, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (International Aeronautical Federation), Lausanne, Switzerland.


In 1965, Sir William Hildred, United Kingdom, former Director General of Civil Aviation in the UK (1941-1946), and Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA, from 1946 to 1964), was given the 4th Edward Warner Award.


In 1972, ICAO bestowed the Award on ASECNA (Agence pour la Sécurité de la Navigation aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar (established in 1959 by an international convention at Dakar, Senegal); it is composed of 15 French-speaking States which co-operate to ensure the safety and regularity of civil aviation over the territories of ASECNA's African Member States.


In 1975, the late Captain Charles Augustus Lind­bergh, USA, was the recipient of the 10th Award, in recognition of his inval­uable moral and material contribu­tion to the devel­opment of interna­tional civil aviation. He is well known for the first non-stop solo air crossing of the North Atlantic (from New York to Paris) during 20-21 May 1927 on the Ryan NYP high-wing monoplane Spirit of St. Louis, unveil­ing the potential of interna­tional air transport. The quotation on the front of the World Federation of UN Associations cover shown here below is from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's response, on behalf of her late husband, to the presentation of the Edward Warner Award from ICAO on 6 November 1975.


In 1976, the Corporación Centroamericana de Servicios de Navegación Aéra (COCESNA) received the Award for its efforts to increase the safety of interna­tional flights in the Central Amer­ican region. The COCESNA was established in February 1960 as a means to achieve a com­plete and rational integra­tion of aeronautical services in the Cen­tral American States. On 26 Febru­ary 1987, Honduras issued a set of 5 stamps, Scott #350-354, to commemor­ate the 25th Anniversary of COCESNA.  Scott #350 depicts the Edward Warner Award medal.


In 1990, ICAO bestowed the Award post­hum­ously on Igor Ivano­vich Sikorsky.  Born in Kiev, USSR, he had been a pioneer designer of both helicop­ters and airplanes. The first successful and practical helicopters to be designed outside Germany were those of Igor Sikor­sky, i.e. the single-rotor helicop­ter Vought-Sikorsky 300 (or VS-300) which first flew on 14 September 1939.  In doing this, Sikorsky transformed the helicopter from an experimental to a practical and useful aircraft.


In 1994, the ICAO Council conferred the Award to Dr. Ing. Bacharuddin Jusuf Habib­ie, Indo­nesia; he eminently contributed to air­craft design and helped to shape his country's policies in the field of civil aviation and aerospace technology.


 In 1995, the 29th Edward Warner Award was bestowed upon Captain Elrey Berber Jeppesen, USA, for the development of inter­national civil aviation and air navigation in particular.  When flying in the early 1930s, he recorded and sketched all the land­ing sites, obstacles and other significant fea­tures on the routes. This was to become the basis of the Jeppesen Airway Manuals, which are today the standard Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) navigation ref­erence.


 In 1996, the 30th Edward Warner Award was conferred to the Institute of Air and Space Law of McGill University (Canada), founded in 1951, recognized for its highly significant contribution to the development of international air law, both through its own activities in teaching, research, publication, and holding international conferences, and through the contributions of its more than one thousand graduates from over 120 different countries around the world.


The 40th Edward Warner Award was conferred in 2013 by the ICAO Council on Dr. Assad Kotaite, in recognition of his eminent contribution to the development of international civil aviation, most notably in the field of diplomacy and conciliation. Dr. Kotaite was Secretary General of ICAO from 1 August 1970 until 1 August 1976 when he became President of the Council of ICAO; his term of office as President was 1976-2006. Shortly after his retirement, Dr. Kotaite became the first-ever President Emeritus of the ICAO Council. Roberto Kobeh González, President of the ICAO Council, stated: “Throughout his 30-year tenure as ICAO Council President, Dr. Kotaite persistently encouraged cooperation and dialogue among ICAO Member States and with the world aviation community; he was a master consensus-builder, a great leader and man of sound judgment, forever guiding global aviation through a competitive and politically complex operating environment.”


Registered cover addressed to Dr. Edward Warner (September 1947)


This first day cover, with the FAI emblem, shows the stamp released by Cyprus on 23 October 1978 for the 75th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight.


Commercial cover sent to Sir William Hildred - 4 August 1957


Commercial cover sent from Paris Regional Office, ICAO to Sir William Hildred.

11 December 1961 - Slogan with ICAO’s early emblem.


Commercial cover sent by ASECNA to ICAO Headquarters


United Nations - 12 June 1978 - ICAO Safety in the Air

First day cover with cachet designed

by the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA)

Quotation from Anne Morrow Lindbergh



Sierra Leone - 28 February 1985

40th anniversary of ICAO

Aviation pioneers

Lind­bergh and the Spirit of St. Louis.


Antigua and Barbuda - 18 November 1985

40th Anniversary of the United Nations

The design shows UN 25-cent “Safety in the air” stamp (stamp-on-stamp).


Honduras - 26 February 1987 - 25th anniver­sary of COCESNA

The stamp shows the Edward Warner Award.


Sao Tome and Principe - 21 December 1979

35th Anniversary of ICAO History of aviation

Maximum card showing the Vought‑Sikorsky VS-300



Suriname - 16 May 1984

40th Anniversary of ICAO

Sikorsky S‑40



Turks and Caicos Islands

21 February 1985

40th Anniversary of ICAO

Aviation pioneers and inventions

Igor Sikorsky and Vought‑Sikorsky VS‑300


Indonesia - 7 December 1994 - 50th anniversary of ICAO

First day cover autographed by Dr. Habibie.  The stamp shows a Douglas C.47.


Hungary - 13 January 1994

50th Anniversary of ICAO The stamp shows a DC-2 (intended to be a DC-3)

over a Jeppesen Low Altitude Enroute Chart (Budapest-Bratislava region).


31st Session of the Assembly - 19 September to 4 October 1995

Cover autographed by Capt. Jeppesen

The cachet depicts an extract of a Jeppesen Low Altitude Enroute Chart (Boston region).


Commercial cover sent by the Institute and Centre of Air and Space Law

to Dr. Assad Kotaite, President of the ICAO Council.

Postmark dated 7 July 1994.


Service cover sent by the Ministry of Communications of Singapore

to Dr. Assad Kotaite, President of the ICAO Council.

Postmark dated 20 October 1993.