ICAO Aviation Photo-Story Contest Winners Announced

ICAO’s My Aviation Photo-Story contest winner for 2018: "Look Up in the Sky", Taken in the Philippines by Mendell Song Berueda

To celebrate aviation’s unique role, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) launched a Photo-Story Contest this year, inviting participants to share their personal aviation stories and accompanying photos which highlighted how air travel played a key part in making a goal or dream come true for them or someone they loved.

In all, more than 75 photos were submitted, featuring rich personal stories from different parts of the world filled with hope and inspiring memories that were only made possible because of air connectivity.

The winner of  the aviation Photo-Story contest, Mendell Song Berueda, accompanied her photo above with the following story:

These boys were merrily playing when they saw an aircraft flying in the sky. One boy pointed to the sky happily shouting “There’s daddy! Daddy!”. To his young mind, in every aircraft flying, his father is seated in it and safely going to work abroad as an expat worker in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Let us continue to keep the skies safe for every young child’s parent expecting their father and mother to keep their promises of coming back home. And for every family celebrate reunions.

Other photos and stories can be found below and are being shared on ICAO’s social media platforms.

Mariné Falero and Laura Rodriguez enjoying a flying experience in the cockpit of an aircraft in Uruguay.


An honourable mention was awarded to Mariné Falero for submitting the above entry, along with the following story in her own words:

La primera vez que Mariné Falero voló no pudo ver ni una nube. Iba en una avioneta chica, de tela tan frágil que le hacía pensar que estaba suspendida sobre un pájaro. Por eso cerró los ojos durante todo el viaje, mientras rezaba con volver al suelo.

Tenía 15 años. Su mejor amiga, Laura Rodríguez, soñaba con ser piloto y había tenido que arrastrarla en su Honda 50 a las afueras de Florida. Al contrario de Mariné, Laura se sentía un ave.

A un par de décadas de aquel primer vuelo, Laura es economista y Mariné, la que cerraba los ojos y temía por la fragilidad del avión, se convirtió en la primera mujer examinadora de vuelo del ámbito privado uruguayo. Juntas sacudieron a las autoridades aeronáuticas cuando en 2009 fundaron su escuela de aviación, la primera certificada y reconocida por autoridades internacionales.”

“I already want to be a pilot”, a 3 year old son who had fallen in love with airplanes, shouting “Dad! I’m going to fly the plane and take them home” as he watched a departure from New Cancun Airport window

 Another honourable mention goes to Armando Del Campo for submitting this entry. He wrote to ICAO:

 “Mi hijo de 3 años ya había quedado enamorado de los aviones, el cielo y el mar y ansiaba subirse por que decía ¡papá! yo voy a volar el avión y llevarlos a casa, observando su partida desde Cancún.”

Some of the participants’ photo entries were featured on the occasion of International Civil Aviation Day which was celebrated globally on the 7 December 2018 as #Flyday on social media, in support of sustainable development across UN Organizations and to illustrate the role of aviation in the world.

For the complete list of 2018 photo-story submissions, please visit the ICAO public website. We want to thank all those who participated in this contest – make sure to follow us on social media – in 2019 we will be commemorating ICAO’s 75th Anniversary and we have many exciting events and activities planned!