ICAO’s 75th anniversary: France exhibition commemorates the signing of the Convention on Civil Aviation

Peace Conference in the Clock Room at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, 1919.

Throughout this year ICAO has been celebrating the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also referred to as the ‘Chicago Convention’. France recently commemorated the important celebrations with an exhibition on the creation and history of ICAO. The exhibition was inaugurated in the famous Clock Room at the Quai d’Orsay, 100 years to the day after the signing of the Paris Convention.

The Paris Convention, which laid down the groundwork for the International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN), was the first successful attempt to regulate international air navigation. Taking advantage of the Peace Conference, participating States agreed on “The Convention Relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation” that was signed in October 1919 in the Clock Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris. It established the main principles for the development of civil aviation and the creation of a permanent commission under the direction of the League of Nations.

In the ensuing years, under the leadership of Albert Roper, Secretary General of ICAN, ICAN contributed to the development of aviation law. In December 1944, the United States convened an International Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago. A new Convention was signed, establishing ICAO as a permanent agency, dedicated to the development of the principles and techniques of international civil air navigation.

Inauguration of the exhibition at the Clock Room, Quai d’Orsay, Paris, France, October 2019

Silvia Gehrer, ICAO’s Regional Director for the EUR/NAT Office expressed appreciation for the exhibition, “it was an honour to represent ICAO at the inauguration of this exhibition in the Clock Room on this momentous day”. The exhibition created by France retraces the history of ICAO from the beginnings of ICAN in 1919 to its founding.