The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations, develops the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. The ICAO Council adopts standards and recommended practices concerning air navigation, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation.
In addition, the ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, commonly known as the Chicago Convention. See NTSB, TSB, AAIB, BFU, and BEA.
Its headquarters are in Montreal, Canada.
The ICAO should not be confused with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade organization for airlines also headquartered in Montreal.
Both ICAO and IATA have their own airport and airline code systems. ICAO uses 4-letter airport codes, and 3-letter airline codes. IATA is scheduled to eventually switch its codes to the ICAO standard.
Todays 8th edition reflects modifications of the Convention since 1948 up to year 2000. In frame of ICAO the statute (the Convention text today) is ICAO Doc 7300/8.
The Convention has 18 Annexes:
- Annex 1 - Personnel Licensing
- Annex 2 - Rules of the Air
- Annex 3 - Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation
- Annex 4 - Aeronautical Charts
- Annex 5 - Units of Measurement to be Used in Air and Ground Operations
- Annex 6 - Operation of Aircraft - Aeroplanes
- Annex 7 - Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks
- Annex 8 - Airworthiness of Aircraft
- Annex 9 - Facilitation
- Annex 10 - Aeronautical Telecommunications - Digital Data Communication Systems
- Annex 11 - Air Traffic Services
- Annex 12 - Search and Rescue
- Annex 13 - Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation
- Annex 14 - Aerodromes - Aerodrome Design and Operations, Heliports
- Annex 15 - Aeronautical Information Services
- Annex 16 - Environmental Protection - Aircraft Noise
- Annex 17 - Security: Safeguarding International Civil Aviation Against Acts of Unlawful Interference
- Annex 18 - The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air
ICAO has organisationally 9 regions, and 7 regional offices:
- 1. Bangkok for Asia and Pacific
- 2. Cairo for Middle East
- 3. Dakar for Western and Central Africa
- 4. Lima for South America
- 5. Mexico for North America, Central America and Caribbea
- 6. Nairobi for Eastern and Southern Africa
- 7. Paris for Europe and North Atlantic