ICAO was created to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity, as well as for aviation environmental protection. The Organization also serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 191 Member States.
The ICAO Head Quarter is in Montreal, Canada.
ICAO is dealing with two major activities:
1. Generally applicable rules and regulations
To the Chicago Convention are 18 (very soon 19) Annexes in different fields of aviation:
Annex 1 – Personnel Licensing
Annex 2 – Rules of the Air
Annex 3 – Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation
Annex 4 – Aeronautical Charts
Annex 5 – Units of Measurement to be used in Air and Ground Operations
Annex 6 – Operation of Aircraft
Annex 7 – Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks
Annex 8 – Airworthiness of Aircraft
Annex 9 – Facilitation
Annex 10 – Aeronautical Telecommunications
Annex 11 – Air Traffic Services
Annex 12 – Search and Rescue
Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation
Annex 14 – Aerodromes
Annex 15 – Aeronautical Information Services
Annex 16 – Environmental Protection
Annex 17 – Security: Safeguarding International Civil Aviation Against Acts of Unlawful Interference
Annex 18 – The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air
Annex 19 – Safety Management (First Edition; 14 November 2013)
There are also the PANS (Procedures for Air Navigation Services):
Air Traffic Management – Doc 4444
Aircraft Operations – Doc 8168
ICAO Abbreviations and Codes – Doc 8400
Training – Doc 9868
And to this comes a series of other Doc’s that serve as guidance material for Namibia and other states when organising their national aviation sector.
2. Practical application of air navigation services and facilities
ICAO supports Namibia and other states. Since operating conditions and other relevant parameters vary in different areas ICAO has divided the surface of the earth in regions within which distinct and specific air navigation problems of a similar nature exists. To assist the states within these regions ICAO has created Regional Offices serving the states. The regional offices are:
- Bangkok: Asia and Pacific (APAC) Office
- Cairo: Middle East (MID) Office
- Dakar: Western and Central African (WACAF) Office
- Lima: South American (SAM) Office
- Mexico: North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACC) Office
- Nairobi: Eastern and Southern African (ESAF) Office (serving Namibia!)
- Paris: European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office
The relation between ICAO and Namibia (and all the other member states)
- ICAO develop and adopt Annex Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
- Namibia (and other states) implement these Annex Standards into their national laws and regulations and carry out oversight responsibilities to make sure these laws and regulations are adhered to.
- ICAO approves regional air navigation plans.
- Namibia (and other states) establish infrastructure according to these regional plans.
ICAO also oversees the safety level of all the member states. More about that in a coming post.