Origins and Process of Creation
The International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN)
One of the most salient features of the Convention of 1919 was the creation of the Commission Internationale de Navigation Aérienne (International Commission for Air Navigation), frequently referred to as CINA or ICAN. In practice, it was the principal organ of an international arrangement requiring administrative, legislative and judicial agents. The judicial work of the air regime was assigned by the Convention of 1919 to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The administrative and legislative functions were entrusted to CINA.
The organization and functions of the commission. A glance at the Convention of 1919 indicates that its operation requires a permanent organization for the following purposes: (a) to receive reports of the contracting states; (b) to transmit this information to the other states; (c) to revise the numerous and detailed rules in the annexes to the convention so that they will meet the rapidly changing conditions of aviation; and, finally and most important of all; (d) to provide a means for the progressive revision of the text of the Convention. These duties were placed upon the International Commission.
The first session of the Commission in July 1922 appointed as Secretary-General Albert Roper of France who had rendered able service in the drafting of the convention at the peace conference.
Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO)
The need for an international aviation organization was pressing, and the Chicago Convention was not to become effective until ratified by twenty-six states. Realizing that to set up a permanent organization as a going concern takes time, the authors of the Final Act of the Chicago Conference included the Interim Agreement on International Civil Aviation, referred to above, which provided for an interim organization to function pending the coming into effect of the Convention, for the purpose of filling the gap between the signing of the Convention and the establishment of the permanent International Civil Aviation Organization.
This interim body, known as the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO), was established with remarkable rapidity. At the end of the Chicago conference on 7 December 1944, measures were taken to bring PICAO into being.The Convention on International Civil Aviation was signed at Chicago, Illinois, United States, on 7 December 1944. PICAO was established in accordance with the provisions of the Interim Agreement, referred to above, as 'a provisional international organization of a technical and advisory nature', with 'the purpose of collaboration in the field of international civil aviation'. It was in operation from August 1945 to 4 April 1947, when the permanent organization was formed. Its seat was in Montreal, Canada.
PICAO's constitutional structure and functions were modelled generally on those provided by the Chicago Convention for the permanent organization in order to assure working continuity with the permanent organization, which eventually was able to take over with little more than formal changes.
In keeping with the directive that all possible assistance from other international organizations was to be sought, the committee invited Dr. Albert Roper (France), Secretary-General of ICAN, to Montreal, for consultation and advice. Accepting the invitation, Dr. Roper arrived early in July 1945 to sit with the committee and assist the secretariat. Some continuity with the work and traditions of ICAN, later superseded by the Chicago Convention, was assured by Dr. Roper's well-timed invitation. It was further assured by appointing him to the post of Secretary General of PICAO. (ICAN was still formally in existence; it was among the other international bodies invited to attend the first Interim Assembly of PICAO.)
The Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) functioned from 6 June 1945 to 4 April 1947, on which date ICAO came into being.
Creation date and Birthplace:
April 4th 1947
According to the terms of the convention, the organization is made up of an Assembly, a Council of limited membership with various subordinate bodies and a Secretariat. The chief officers are the President of the Council and the Secretary General. The Assembly, composed of representatives from all Member States, is the sovereign body of ICAO. It meets every three years, reviewing in detail the work of the organization and setting policy for three years. It also establishes a triennial operating budget.
The Council, the governing body which is selected by the Assembly for a three-year term, is composed of thirty-three states. The Assembly chooses the Council Member States under three headings: states of chief importance in air transport, states that make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for air navigation, and states whose designation will ensure that all major areas of the world are represented. As the governing body, the Council gives continuing direction to the work of ICAO. It is in the Council that standards and recommended practices are adopted and incorporated as annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The Council is assisted by the Air Navigation Commission (technical matters), the Air Transport Committee (statistical and economic matters), the Committee on Joint Support of Air Navigation Services and the Finance Committee.
The Secretariat, headed by a Secretary General, is divided into five main divisions: the Air Navigation Bureau, the Air Transport Bureau, the Technical Co-operation Bureau, the Legal Bureau and the Bureau of Administration and Services. In order that the work of the Secretariat shall reflect a truly international approach, professional personnel are recruited on a broad geographical basis.
Presidents of ICAO Council (Listed in chronological order): Dr. E. Warner, United States (1944-56); Mr. W. Binaghi, Argentina (1956-76); and Dr. A. Kotaite, Lebanon (since 1976).
Secretaries General of ICAO: Dr. Albert Roper, France (August 1945 - December 1951); Mr. E. C. R. Ljungberg, Sweden (January 1952 - 31 July 1959); Mr. R. M. MacDonnell, Canada (1 August 1959 - 31 July 1964); Mr. B. T. Twigt, Netherlands (1 August 1964 - 31 July 1970); Dr. A. Kotaite, Lebanon (1 August 1970 - 31 July 1976); Mr. Y. Lambert, France (1 August 1976 - 31 July 1988); Dr. S. S. Sidhu, India (1 August 1988 - 31 July 1991); Dr. P. Rochat, Switzerland (1 August 1991 - 31 July 1997); and Mr. R. C. Costa Pereira, Brazil (since 1 August 1997).