Formation of ICAO
The laying of the foundations of ICAO was
initiated by the US, and developed through consultations between the
'Major Allies', who invited 55 states to attend the International Civil
Aviation Conference in Chicago in 1944. 54 states attended and 32
states signed the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which set
up the permanent International Civil Aviation Organisation.
ICAO was created as 'a means to secure
international co-operation and the highest possible degree of
uniformity in regulations and standards, procedures and organization
regarding civil aviation matters'. There are now 189 contracting states.
ICAO's aims, and much of what these include, are:
the establishment of International Standards, Recommended Practices and
Procedures covering licensing of personnel, rules of the air, aircraft
operations, airworthiness, aeronautical telecommunications, air traffic
services, accident investigation, aircraft noise and emission levels,
security and safe transport of dangerous goods.
After a standard is formally adopted, each of the ICAO 'contracting states' implements it within their territories.
the development of a satellite-based system concept to meet future
communications, navigation surveillance/air traffic management
(CNS/ATM) needs of civil aviation.
Regional planning: for
the purposes of the ICAO, the globe is divided into 9 geographical
regions which are treated individually for 'planning the provision of
air navigation facilities and services required on the ground'. ICAO
regional meetings are held periodically.
reduction of procedural formalities which may add extra time to a
passenger's journey and the provision of adequate air terminal
Economics: air services to be established on the basis of equality and opportunity and operated soundly and economically.
Technical co-operation for development:
the promotion of civil aviation in developing countries which includes
the provision of assistance to states in order to improve their
aviation security facilities and procedures. This has involved the
creation or assistance of many large civil aviation training centres.
Law: development of a code of international air law governing certain issues.
The organisation comprises of an Assembly, a Council assisted by various subordinate bodies and a Secretariat.
The Assembly consists of representatives from the contracting states. It meets every three years to review and mandate policy.
The Council is
the governing body which is elected by the Assembly for a three year
term and is comprised of delegates from 36 contracting states. The 36
states are selected according to one of three characteristics:
- key importance in air transport;
- key contributors to the provision of facilities for air navigation;
- states whose designation will ensure all major areas of the world are represented.
Council adopts standards and recommended practices, It is assisted by
the Air Navigation Commission on technical issues, the Air Transport
Committee on economic issues, the Committee on Joint Support of Air
Navigation Services and the Finance Committee.
The Secretariat is composed of staff recruited on a broad geographical basis and is headed by the Secretary-General. There are 5 main sectors:
- The Air Navigation Bureau;
- The Air Transport Bureau;
- The Technical Co-operation Bureau;
- The Legal Bureau; and
- The Bureau of Administration and Services.
are a number of advisory and working groups that research and advise on
various ICAO issues. For the purposes of the policy laundering project
there are two relevant groups:
The Technical Advisory Group
ICAO's Technical Advisory Group (TAG), established in 1986, plays an
influential role in the development and design of MRTD technologies.
TAG is an advisory group appointed by the Secretary General of ICAO and
comprising of experts from 13 contracting states who form various
working groups. The main working groups are:
- The Education and Promotion Working Group;
- The Document Content and Format Working Group;
- The New Technologies Working Group.
experts are derived from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France,
Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Russian
Federation, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Observers are additionally invited to attend TAG/MRTD meetings and these may, as stated, include 'States or
non-governmental bodies'. Examples of the latter mentioned on the ICAO
website include the Airports Council International (ACI), the
International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International
Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the International
Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). Although not explicitly
mentioned, it is submitted that relevant private industry
representatives are in attendance.
additionally assists states with the implementation of these
specifications and issues guidance and information for governments and
The New Technologies Working Group
Technologies Working Group (NTWG) conducts research, analysis and
reporting on new technologies for use in MRTDs. The Group's current
focus is on document security. 'The NTWG acts as a forum for
presentation of candidate technologies, including chips, bar-code,
optical memory storage as well as the confirmation of identity with
biometrics. In addition, the NTWG seeks input with respect to machine
authentication and security features for documents.'
The Organisations headquarters are situated in Montreal, Canada.
In addition to relations with
member states and domestic civil aviation commissions, ICAO maintains
links to a wide variety of international organisations, including the