International Civil Aviation Day
International Civil Aviation Day is observed on 7 December to highlight the role of civil aviation in economic development across continents. The day also highlights the important role of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in contributing to a global transportation network.
International Civil Aviation Day Theme
Every five years, coinciding with ICAO anniversaries (2014/2019/2024/2029/etc.), the ICAO Council establishes a special anniversary theme for International Civil Aviation Day. Between these anniversary years, Council representatives select a single theme for the full four-year intervening period.
In recognition of ICAO’s 75th anniversary, the Council selected the following theme “75 Years of Connecting the World”. The council has decided that until 2023 the theme will be:
“Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”
The Second World War was a period of rapid developments in aircraft technology. Towards the end of the conflict, in 1944, in anticipation of the growing popularity of civilian and freight air travel, the US Government invited delegates from allied states to Chicago to thrash out the first international Convention on Civil Aviation, commonly known as the “Chicago Convention”.
The prime objective of this document is the development of international civil aviation “in a safe and orderly manner”, and the establishment of air transport services “on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically.”
In 1947, ICAO was set up as a UN Specialized Agency, to organize and support the intensive international cooperation which the fledgling global air transport network would require. It is based in Montreal, Canada. Over the following decades, this UN organization would establish itself as the driving force for international aviation development and regulatory control, with the aim of making civil aviation safe, secure, efficient, environmentally sensitive, and an enabler of global economic development.
International Civil Aviation Day was established in 1994 as part of ICAO’s 50th-anniversary activities. In 1996, pursuant to an ICAO initiative and with the assistance of the Canadian Government, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized 7 December as International Civil Aviation Day in the UN system.
Innovation will be key to how aviation addresses some of its most pressing priorities, today and tomorrow. These challenges include how to keep pace with traffic growth and manage more and more aircraft in finite operational airspace, as well as how to accommodate steady traffic growth while continuously limiting and ultimately decreasing sectoral emissions.
How the day is celebrated
The day is held to recognize the social, economic, and developmental benefits of aviation and international air travel as well as commemorate the ICAO’s role in safety, efficiency, and uniformity in global aviation.
Events are held worldwide that outline the importance of safe international aviation, and the impact that it can have on our economic and social lives. In many places around the world, awareness is raised through seminars, lectures, classroom activities, and news media with aviation themes.
Airlines such as Airbus advertise and offer information on the day on their websites. It is the aim of the ICAO to make sure that one day our world is completely safe for air travel from one place on earth to anyplace else.
On 7 December – #FlyDay – the ICAO encourages adults and children to think, talk and write about how aviation makes a difference to their lives and communities. To help things along, free posters and other graphic tools can be downloaded from the ICAO website by civil aviation authorities, schools, and other groups wanting to celebrate the benefits of more than a century of aviation.
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